Posted: May 15, 2011 2:19 PM by WBRZ Staff
Updated: May 15, 2011 2:19 PM
MORGANZA- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened five more bays Sunday evening. That brings the total to nine, of the number of bays sending water gushing from the Mississippi River into the Morganza Spillway and eventually into the Atchafalaya Basin.
That will increase the diversion of Mississippi River water, flooding rural areas along the Atchafalaya River basin, while easing flood threats to Baton Rouge and, New Orleans.
Gates began opening Saturday. The Spillway is Northwest of Baton Rouge in Pointe Coupee Parish.
The opening is sending water into largely rural St. Landry Parish, where authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order Sunday morning for low lying areas near the town of Krotz Springs.
School classes for the rest of the year have been cancelled at Stephensville Elementary in St. Martin Parish due to flood water concerns.
Meanwhile, forecasters say the Mississippi has crested at New Orleans at 17 feet above sea level - lower than forecasts had predicted before the opening of the Morganza and the earlier
opening of the Bonnet Carre spillway last week.