Corps checking some levees twice a week
NEW ORLEANS - The Army Corps of Engineers has begun twice-weekly checks of Mississippi River levees south of Baton Rouge because the river is 11 feet and rising at New Orleans.
Spokesman Ricky Boyett (boy-ET) says the patrols are a standard precaution under these conditions. Other precautions include a ban on subsurface work within 1,500 feet of the levees, hauling heavy loads over the levees, and other work that might damage them.
National Weather Service hydrologist Jeff Grashel (GRUSH-uhl) says the river never fell to normal winter levels after December and January floods.
He says it's rising again after several weeks of rain in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. He says some heavy rain is expected next week - and, depending on where it falls, the river could stay above 11 feet in New Orleans into early April.