Bonnet Carre Spillway opens
For just the 12th time in its long history, the Bonnet Carre Spillway opened Thursday to help control the rising Mississippi River and keep pressure off the New Orleans levee system.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineering officials made the decision this week because the river has been rising rapidly after water upriver has fed the Mississippi and its tributaries.
The Army Corps opened about half of the spillway’s bays, a feat that required the help of several federal and local agencies. Major General Richard G. Kaiser said, “I’m here today because I approved and I authorized the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway because of the current and imminent river conditions we are about to face.”
The spillway, located on the east bank of St. Charles Parish, can divert a portion of the river’s floodwaters from Lake Pontchartrain into the Gulf of Mexico.