Residents worry as Morganza Spillway water rolls in

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 12:26am

A 15 mile stretch of the Mississippi River at Natchez is back open tonight. It was closed entirely earlier today, blocking vessels heading toward the Gulf of Mexico.

That sort of interruption could have cost the economy hundreds of millions of dollars for every day of idled barges carrying coal, timber, iron, steel and more than half of America's grain exports.

However, as those barges are now allowed to pass through one at a time, those who live near the river and the Morganza Spillway are struggling to keep their head above water.

In Rolling Fork, Mississippi, if the levee doesn't hold, the hometown of blues legend Muddy Waters could soon be under water.

Like the rising water, the concern now stretches to southern Louisiana, as water diverted through the Morganza Spillway is now inching in on smaller communities along the Atchafalaya River.

Sandbags and makeshift levees try to block the floods path, but residents in St. Landry Parish most know it’s a temporary defense at best.

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