Posted: May 14, 2011 12:57 PM by Russell Jones
Updated: May 14, 2011 5:42 PM
BATON ROUGE - Water is pouring through the Morganza Spillway for the first time since 1973, after historic levels of flooding in the Mississippi River.
The Corps of Engineers opened one bay in the spillway today to begin diverting water from the Mississippi and into the Atchafalaya Basin. They will continue opening bays for the next several days until about a quarter of them are open.
Col. Ed Fleming with the Corps said they expect the river's crest to reach them on May 24, and they will have all the bays they expect to need open before then.
"We expect the crest to stay with us for ten to 14 days, and could keep the spillway operating for the better part of three weeks," Fleming said.
Gen. Michael Walsh with the Corps said that the crest was currently still in Arkansas, and the Mississippi River was still at record heights further upstream at Cairo, Illi.
"This flood-fighting effort will be a marathon, not a sprint," he said.