Mississippi River creeps closer to next flood fight trigger

State News

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) – (1/22/20) The Mississippi River is running fast and high in New Orleans. It is once again creeping just inches from a critical trigger point in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers’ flood fight.

The Carrollton gage Uptown, which the Corps uses as a standard for its flood fight, is hovering at around 14 feet Tuesday.

If the Corps moves into its stage flood fight, all construction within 1,500 feet of the river levee system would stop and levee inspections would be increased from twice weekly to daily.

Corps spokesperson Matt Roe said that could happen by the end of this month.

“This morning, the National Weather Service forecast has the river getting to 15.1 feet here at the Carrollton gage,” Roe said. “We are watching that very closely. Trigger point for phase 2 flood fight is 15 feet and rising so we are seeing if that forecast is going to come in a little bit lower of a little bit higher and we will make a decision of whether to go into phase 2 based on that.”

On Jan. 9, the Corps entered its stage one flood fight following the river’s rise to 11 feet. Roe said the high river is due to heavy rain to our north that is now making its way to the coast.

In recent years, flood fights in January have been followed by springtime openings of the Bonnet Carre Spillway to relieve pressure on levees from New Orleans south.

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