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More Levees May Be Opened As Mississippi Rises to Record Levels

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now activating a flood plan developed decades ago to prevent catastrophic levee breaches as the Mississippi River rises...
May 10, 2011

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now activating a flood plan developed decades ago to prevent catastrophic levee breaches as the Mississippi River rises to record levels. On May 9 the Corps is expected to relieve some of the pressure on levees in New Orleans by opening the Bonnet Carre spillway and allowing flood waters from the river to flow through environmentally sensitive recreational areas in Lake Pontchartrain. On May 6 the Corps said that it may open another spillway in Louisiana, the Morganza Floodway, in order to lower a stretch of the river from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Earlier that week the Corps blew out a gap two miles wide in a levee in Missouri to open a spillway, lowering water levels by flooding 130,000 acres of valuable farmland. Opening the Morganza would require the evacuation of a dozen towns.

Read more on the Mississippi floods in Rethinking Flood Control (Wall Street Journal 5/9/11)

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