Corps releases additional inundation maps
BATON ROUGE - The Corps of Engineers released more information and maps today showing what could happen if the Morganza Spillway was or was not used.
The three maps showed where floodwaters would likely go if the Morganza Spillway was opened at 50 percent, if it wasn't opened at all, and if the Corps used the Old River Control Structure to divert water while leaving Morganza closed.
"In the interest of public safety, the Corps must evaluate every possible scenario," states Col. Ed Fleming, New Orleans District commander. "Only then are we able to understand the best course of action to prevent the worst from occurring."
The first map had already been released on May 6, and shows opening the Morganza would cause ten to 25 feet of water to flow into parts of West Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, Iberville, St. Martin and Assumption Parishes. Similar flooding ten feet or lower would occur in St. Mary, Assumption and Terrebonne Parishes.
If the Morganza isn't opened, the Corps released a map today that shows southern Baton Rouge around LSU would be under 20 to 40 feet water, as would Ascension Parish near Gonzales, West Feliciana Parish north of Morganza and most of West Baton Rouge and Pointe Coupee Parish. The same areas that would be flooded if the Morganza were opened would also receive around the same amount of flooding. The Corps stressed the estimations were an "emergency planning tool", and represented what could happen if no flood preparations had been made.
The third map released today showed what could happen if the Old River Control Structure were used to divert water instead of the Morganza Spillway. It showed more flooding would happen along the Mississippi and its bends just north of Baton Rouge, between 30 to 40 feet, and that the same areas affected by opening the Morganza would receive similar amounts of flooding.
The Corps is expected to reach the trigger conditions to open the Morganza Spillway between Saturday and Tuesday.