London Avenue gates closing

Published Sept. 12, 2009
NEW ORLEANS – In accordance with the new operating procedures announced Tuesday, New Orleans District Commander Col. Alvin B. Lee ordered the London Avenue Canal gates closed at 5:45 p.m.

Easterly winds and heavy rain caused Lake Pontchartrain’s water level to reach the operational trigger of 2.5 feet. and rising.

Previous procedures called for closing the gates when the lake-side gage reached 4 feet and rising only during tropical events. Lowering that elevation and operating during nontropical events reduces the risk of exceeding the canal’s safe water elevation. It also maximizes the Sewerage and Water Board’s pumping ability during heavy rainfall.

The gates take about 50 minutes to close and, once closed, we can begin pumping water from the canal into the lake to maintain the 5 foot safe water elevation.

A three person team located at the structure is responsible for operating the gates and pumps from the control room.

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) equipment enables our emergency operations center to remotely monitor and operate the system as a redundancy in our operation plan, should the need arise.

The Corps’ pumps have a maximum combined capacity of 5,200 cubic feet per second at the London Ave. Canal.

Release no. 09-060