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New Flood Model Shows Major Flooding Possible

New Flood Model Shows Major Flooding Possible

POSTED: Monday, May 9, 2011 - 7:39am

UPDATED: Monday, October 3, 2011 - 3:35pm

The Mississippi River continues to rise above flood stage and in some cases near record flood levels.  The Mississippi River has not seen flooding like this since 1927, The Great Flood of 1927.  That was one of Americas greatest disaster to date and prompted the formation of many government agencies to protect all interests along the river.  

Heavy rain and snow melt continues to have an impact on river stages.  To reduce the flood threat and effects of current flooding the Bonnet Carre Spillway opened this morning.  That employment serves to protect residents and the rivers protection abilities to the south.  The opening of the Bonnet Carre will have no impact on the river in Baton Rouge or the Atchafaylaya River.  All current forecast crests are only with the employment of the Bonet Carre Spillway and not the Morganza.  

The possibilty of opening the Morganza Spillway for the first time in nearly 40 years is closer to becoming a reality.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has asked the Mississippi River commission to open the spillway.  If its granted, the Corps plans to open the Morganza Thursday. This could bring water 25 feet in some areas.  West Feliciana Parish is bracing for the worst.  The Corps released a map showing estimates of flooding with opening 50% of the Morganza Spillway that indicated over 12 Lousiana communities will be threatened with floodwaters including, Houma, Plaquemine, St Francisville, Morgan City, Berwick, Raceland and Mathews.  The flood forecast was completed using computer modeling during the past few days.  

Computer Model Forecast, Army Corps of Engineers:

http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/bcarre/NO_District_Inundation_Spring_May_2011.pdf 

The link above shows what is expected if the Morganza Spillway is employed at 50%.  The map includes a disclaimer as to the accuracy of the computer forecast and that it should only be used as a guideline for emergency planning.  Most of the communities threatened with flooding would face one to five feet of water, according to the map.  But water levels could be as high as 25 feet near St Francisville, north of Baton Rouge.  

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