NEW ORLEANS - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway after heavy rain in the Mississippi Valley and rising river water stages.
The Corps opened the spillway Sunday morning to divert river water into Lake Pontchartrain. The opening will help keep the volume of Mississippi River flows at New Orleans from exceeding 1.25 million cubic feet per second - enough to fill the Superdome in a minute and 40 seconds.
The Bonnet Carre has been opened 10 times, most recently during the record floods of 2011.
The spillway may be open for several weeks. All public access areas within the spillway are closed beginning Sunday until further notice.