Bonnet Carrè Spillway set to open Friday morning for about four weeks

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Photo by Jennifer LaVista/U.S. Geological Survey.

(WXXV) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will open the Bonnet Carrè Spillway by the end of the week.

The Bonnet Carrè Spillway is set to open on Friday at 10 a.m. in order to relieve pressure on the Mississippi River levees near New Orleans.

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Between 95 and 105 bays, about one-third of the spillway’s total 350 bays, will be opened for about four weeks.

Under the 1928 Flood Control Act, the Bonnet Carrè Spillway is to be opened when the Mississippi River reaches a flow rate of 1.25 million cubic feet per second at the Carrollton gauge at New Orleans.

Opening the spillway would allow floodwaters from the river to safely pass the New Orleans area, by diverting them to Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi Sound.

In 2019, trillions of gallons of freshwater polluted with fertilizer were released from the Bonnet Carrè Spillway. Last year’s prolonged opening is believed to have killed scores of dolphins and sea turtles, while severely damaging area oyster beds.

This will be the third year in a row opening the spillway.

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