The US Army Corps of Engineers has activated Phase I of flood fighting procedures along the Mississippi River.
On Thursday, The New Orleans District said that they will begin patrolling levees along the Mississippi River twice a week until the water level drops below 11 feet at the Carrollton Gage in New Orleans.
Phase I, according to the Army Corps, is a proactive measure that is triggered when the Mississippi River reaches 11 feet and is forecast to continue to rise.
They say that the increased patrols help ensure the Corps' ability to respond to problem areas that may develop along the levee system because of elevated water levels.
The current water level at the Carrollton Gage is 11.6 feet. The National Weather Service's latest forecast shows the river cresting at 13 feet March 21 for several days before starting to fall.
Levee restrictions during high water:
The Corps and State of Louisiana have established distances for certain types of work that can adversely affect the integrity of the federal levees and structures. All work that may impact Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) levees, which includes transport of heavy loads over the levee, disturbance of grass cover, or subsurface work within 1,500 feet of the levee, is prohibited when the Mississippi River elevation reaches 11 feet and rising at the Carrollton Gage in New Orleans. Waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on many circumstances, including surrounding subsurface ground conditions.
Permit holders are advised to contact their local levee districts for detailed information and to monitor river stages and forecasts by calling 504-862-2461 or checking www.rivergages.com.
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