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May 8, 2011 12:22 PM by Herbie Smith

State Officials Discuss Pros and Cons of Morganza Spillway Opening

In Pointe Coupee Parish, state officials spent Saturday morning informing dozens of farmers who live and work near the Morganza Spillway about the pros and cons of opening it.
Mike Strain with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry told farmers they will lose millions of dollars worth of crops if the spillway is opened or closed because water from the Mississippi River will eventually flood their property. However, Strain says the benefit of opening the floodway is that officials will be able to manage water flowing from the Mississippi River which could prevent disasters they faced in 1927.
Even though farmers and residents living in the area will take a loss, Strain says there are several disaster relief programs available on Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry's web site.
Before the spillway is opened, the Mississippi River Commission must give approval to the U.S. Corps of Engineers to do so.
While approval is pending, state officials are urging everyone in the Morganza area to stay prepared to evacuate.

Louisiana Department of Agriculture& Forestry's Website: www.ldaf.louisiana.gov/portal/

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