Corps precaution at weirs built to keep Mississippi in place
NEW ORLEANS - The Army Corps of Engineers is getting ready in case of high water at the complex built to keep the Mississippi River flowing past New Orleans.
Spokesman Rene Poche says that Thursday, crews at the Old River Control Structure opened gates at the "Overbank Structure" - one of two weirs built in 1959.
Emergency management official Mike Stack says the move is a precaution: those gates cannot open if the river's much higher.
Stack says that after a third weir was built in the 1980s, officials decided the Overbank Structure could stay closed. But he says the record flood of 2011 strained the second original structure to its limits.
The National Weather Service says the river's height is about normal for this time of year.