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May 14, 2011 11:24 PM by Chris Welty

LA Towns on Edge as Spillway Opens

KROTZ SPRINGS, La. (AP) - Phones at the police department in the
little south Louisiana town of Krotz Springs rang nonstop as
residents they packed belongings and sought information on the
opening of the Morganza Spillway.
Saturday's opening of part of the spillway gate structure sent a
rush of Mississippi River water toward the Athchafalaya River
basin. That was done to relieve pressures that the high, swift
river exerts on levees protecting heavily populated areas to the
south. But it threatens wildlife, people, towns and farms
stretching west and south, down to the Gulf of Mexico.
At Krotz Springs' town hall, inundation maps from the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers were passed out, but it was unclear how deep the
water might get as people packed sandbags and constructed makeshift
levees to protect homes.

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