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May 11, 2011 10:26 PM by Rob Perillo

Trigger Point for the Morganza Spillway

It is not a question of if, but when will the Morganza Spillway open relieving pressure on Southeast Louisiana levees and shuttling 50% of the big river down into the Atchafalaya Basin?

The Army Corp of Engineersare mandated to open the spillway when the water volume increases to 1.5 million cubic feet per second (cfs) along the Mississippi River at the Red River Landing.

As of Wednesday evening the current flow at the Red River Landing was roughly 1.45 million cfs and is projected by hydrological models to reach 1.5 million cfs late Friday evening.

As a result, expect the floodway to open anytime from this Saturday through early next week with flooding conditions likely in low-lying unprotected areas to follow.

Within 1-2 days of the spillway release flooding conditions will likely reach to Butte La Rose, followed by high water rises in the Morgan City area a few days later.

Backwater flood areas may begin to flood from several days to a week later as water travels northward after clearing lower levees south of Butte La Rose.

The crest of the Mississippi River increase may not occur for another 10 days afterward with flood inundations lasting well into June.

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