Mississippi falling, Corps closing spillway near New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Army Corps of Engineers says the level of the Mississippi River is falling at New Orleans and the Corps has begun closing a historic flood control structure that diverts the river's water.
Corps spokesman Matt Roe said Tuesday the process could take 10 days to two weeks if the weather is good.
The Bonnet Carre Spillway is opened to relieve stress on levees protecting New Orleans when the river is flowing at 1.25 million cubic feet per second. That's fast enough to fill the Superdome in less than two minutes. Water is diverted into brackish Lake Pontchartrain.
The Feb. 28 opening was the 13th. It marked the first time the structure has been operated in consecutive years since it was completed in 1931.