Mississippi River water levels rising, Army Corps activate “Phase II Flood Fight Procedures”

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Mississippi River. Photo: Michael Manning, United States Geological Survey.

NEW ORLEANS (WXXV) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is closely monitoring flooding of the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi River has risen to 15 feet at the Carrollton Gage in New Orleans, prompting the Corps of Engineers to activate “Phase II Flood Fight Procedures.”

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Closely coordinating efforts with the local levee authorities, the Corps of Engineers will begin daily patrolling of levees along the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to Venice because of the elevated water levels.

When the river is above 11 feet at the Carrollton Gage, all work within 1,500 feet of the levee must be suspended unless a waiver is granted by the Corps of Engineers and the local levee district. However, when the river is above 15 feet all work must be suspended.

This phase II activation applies to levees along the Mississippi River. Current forecasts indicate the Atchafalaya River will remain in “Phase I Flood Fight.”

The Army Corps activated “Phase II Flood Fight Procedures” on January 9 on the Mississippi River levees and on January 21 on the Atchafalaya River levees.

At this time the forecast does not indicate the need to operate the Bonnet Carre Spillway or Morganza Floodway Control Structure.

The Bonnet Carre Spillway is usually opened in order to keep the volume of the Mississippi River flows at New Orleans from exceeding 1.25 million cubic feet per second (cfs).