Corps continues Phase I Flood Fight inspections and monitoring as the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers water levels rise

Published April 27, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Based on river stage predictions by the National Weather Service, the Mississippi River is expected to rise over the next several days. Controlled leakage and minimal flow over the Bonnet Carre' Spillway structure is expected. Water is not currently flowing through the closed spillway structure, but is expected to begin later today.

Currently, the St. Charles Parish Highway 12 (SC 12) is open to traffic and all public recreation areas in the spillway, including the riding trails in ATV Area 1, the boat launches, and the St. Charles Parish recreation area remain open to public use. The Bonnet Carre Spillway structure and guide levees have been inspected and are in good condition.

A successful spillway operational test was conducted on April 5, 2011. This annual test takes place during high water season each year as an opportunity to practice spillway operational procedures. As designed, the operation of the Bonnet Carré Spillway is very labor intensive and safe needle lifting and replacement as well as familiarization with the procedure is a priority.

Working in close coordination with local levee authorities, the Corps of Engineers continues patrolling levees and structures throughout the area to ensure our ability to quickly respond to any problems that may develop along the levee system because of elevated water levels. Monitoring of Mississippi River levels and communication with the National Weather Service continues.

No decision has been made at this time to operate the Bonnet Carre Spillway.

Release no. 11-084