WRKF

Bonnet Carre Spillway

The commercial fishing industry on the Gulf Coast has seen two major disasters in the last 15 years: Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Now, some fear we’re on the cusp of a third. The culprit: historic flooding from the Mississippi River.

The Army Corps of Engineers expects to open the Bonnet Carre Spillway Friday afternoon.

Located upriver from New Orleans, the Bonnet Carre Spillway acts as a release valve for the Mississippi River. When the water reaches a flow of 1.25 million cubic feet per second, the Corps opens the spillway to divert some of that water into Lake Pontchartrain.

Heavy rains in the Midwest have caused the Mississippi River to swell. To relieve pressure on local levees, the Army Corps of Engineers will begin operating the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Norco on Wednesday.

The levees near New Orleans are only built to handle water moving at 1.25 million cubic feet per second -- quick enough to fill the Superdome in about a minute, the Corps estimates. When the river gets going that fast the Corps opens the spillway, diverting some of that water into Lake Pontchartrain.

Flood Fight

Jan 11, 2016
Frank Barnett

The Mississippi River is still rising and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are in what they call a Flood Fight.

During Flood Fight the most important thing to the Corps is monitoring and attending to the well-being of the levees. All measures are taken to ensure its safety and well-being.


Bonnet Carre Spillway Opens

Jan 11, 2016
WRKF, Travis Lux

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway on Sunday. Heavy rain in the Mississippi Valley and rising river water stages prompted the opening.

The spillway was opened to divert water into Lake Pontchartrain to help keep the volume of Mississippi River flows at New Orleans from exceeding 1.25 million cubic feet per second. That amount of water is enough to fill the entire Mercedes-Benz Superdome in a minute and 40 seconds.

The spillway may be open for several weeks. All public access areas within the spillway are closed until further notice.