Why Has the Morganza Opening been Delayed

Officials announced the opening of the Morganza spillway will be pushed back. Here's why...

Mississippi River Flooding Morganza

"We don't want to put any more water into that floodway than we need to," said Army Corps spokesman Ricky Boyett. Monitoring the conditions, the Corps of Engineers does not expect the Mississippi to overtop the control structure at Morganza until later than previously expected, June 9. To counteract the water levels, Engineers will begin opening the spillway, to about 25%, starting Thursday, June 6th. Over the next several days, gates will be opened until they are displacing 150,000 cubic feet per second or about 1.7 Olympic swimming pools, per second. The gradual release of water will give wildlife a chance to evacuate the area, ahead of the flood water.

Homeowners, farmers, and ranchers have been evacuating for several days, anticipating the rising floodwaters. Officials have held several meetings, across multiple parishes, warning residents what to expect and how to evacuate. Some residents, however, are stuck and already experiencing floodwaters, due to the backflow from the old control structure. A sunken barge, expected to have been completed in 2021, was rushed into service, to reduce backflow up Bayou Chene.

The old control structure is currently displacing 570,000 cubic feet per second, dumping water into the western side of the Atchafalaya. The old control structure was nearly lost, in the '70s, due to a failed retaining wall. 

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