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Entries in Morganza Spillway (4)

Monday
May162011

Mississippi River Flooding: More Floodgates Opened at Morganza Spillway

Scott Olson/Getty Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) -- The Army Corps of Engineers opened two additional gates at the Mississippi River's Morganza Spillway Monday, unleashing a wall of water which is now flowing into the spillway at a rate greater than that of Niagara Falls -- more than 100,000 cubic feet per second.

At that rate it would take just over an hour and a half to cover the entire island of Manhattan in a foot of water. So far only 11 of the 125 gates have been opened and the Corps plans to open more as the river rises.

The Corps began flooding the spillway on Saturday, opening the floodgates for the first time in 40 years. The goal is to divert the record-high waters of the Mississippi away from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, choosing to risk smaller communities in an attempt to avert disaster in the most populous cities.

The Mississippi River crest is not expected to arrive at the Morganza spillway for at least a week and mandatory evacuations are already underway in many places. Neighborhoods in the water's path have turned to ghost towns with sheriff's deputies and members of the National Guard going door to door telling residents to pack up and get out.

President Obama met privately Monday with families and local officials affected by the flooding in Memphis. He heard their stories and praised their resilience.

Following the meeting, he delivered a commencement address at Booker T. Washington High School where he spoke of the response to the series of natural disasters that have hit the country this spring.

"The success of our economy will depend on your skills, but the success of our community will depend on your ability to follow the Golden Rule -- to treat others as you would like to be treated," he said. "We've seen how important this is even in the past few weeks, as communities in Memphis and all across the South have banded together to deal with floodwaters and to help each other in the aftermath of terrible tornadoes."

Once the water hits it could be as long as three months before it goes down. In Mississippi, 4,000 people are already waterlogged and the river is supposed to crest in Vicksburg, Miss., on Thursday. For those in Louisiana, all they can do is work and wait.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May152011

Water Works: More Spillway Flood Gates Opened

ABC News(BUTTE LAROSE, La.) -- The flood gates along the Morganza spillway continued to open Sunday, as authorities try to divert the rushing waters of the Mississippi River away from the masses.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened two more flood gates on Sunday, this after opening two other gates the previous day. There are a total of 125 gates along the Morganza spillway.

Flood gates are expected to remain open for up to three weeks, forcing thousands of people who reside in the path of the diverted water to have to flee their homes. The move to open the spillway gates is being undertaken with the hope of inconveniencing the few in order to save the majority. The diverted water will travel several miles through a path made up of homes and farmland.

Officials say the flood gates are being opened at a relatively slow pace for several reasons such as ensuring the diverted water doesn’t scour the spillway structure, giving wildlife a chance to escape, and allowing residents in the flood’s path more time to pack up and leave.

Experts say if the gates remained closed and the levees along the Mississippi failed, Baton Rouge and New Orleans could both be flooded -- leaving a disaster worse than Katrina.

President Obama is expected to meet with families affected by flooding along the river when he travels to Memphis, Tenn., on Monday. Friday, Republicans on the House Appropriations panel awarded $850 million to the Federal Emergency Management Agency  (FEMA) for disaster payments.

The Coast Guard also is likely to close the river to barge traffic in the coming week, costing the U.S. economy $295 million a day. It's just the latest in a costly year of extreme weather disasters.

The massive Mississippi floods -- a seven-state, 560-mile liquid trail -- are adding to the nation's laundry list of expensive destruction. Already, there have been five separate billion-dollar storms and floods this year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
May132011

Mississippi Floods: Morganza Spillway Flood Gate Opened

ABC News(BATON ROUGE, La.) -- One gate along the Morganza spillway was opened Saturday afternoon by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, sending gallons of water gushing through acres of rural farmland.
 
The single flood gate was opened in an effort to divert some of the water from the rising Mississippi River and spare big cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans from the devastation that flood waters can bring. There are some 125 gates that make up the spillway, and officials say at least two more gates could be opened by Sunday. Authorities say they expect the flood gates to stay open for up to three weeks.

If the gates remained closed and the levees along the Mississippi failed, Baton Rouge and New Orleans could both be flooded -- leaving a disaster worse than Katrina.

Inspectors are making daily checks of the levees that surround New Orleans.

"All indications are that the levees that have been inspected on a regular basis for some time, they're all holding and we are expecting them to do so," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Other low-lying areas are not faring as well. The Mississippi River has been breaking high-water records that have stood since the 1920s and '30s.

President Obama is expected to meet with families affected by flooding along the river when he travels to Memphis, Tenn., on Monday. Friday, Republicans on the House Appropriations panel awarded $850 million to the Federal Emergency Management Agency  (FEMA) for disaster payments.

The Coast Guard also is likely to close the river to barge traffic next week, costing the U.S. economy $295 million a day. It's just the latest in a costly year of extreme weather disasters.

The massive Mississippi floods -- a seven-state, 560-mile liquid trail -- are adding to the nation's laundry list of expensive destruction. Already, there have been five separate billion-dollar storms and floods this year.

Copyright 2011 ABC New Radio 
Friday
May132011

Mississippi Floods: Spillway to Be Opened in Louisiana

Scott Olson/Getty Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) -- Louisiana residents are being warned Friday: The Army Corps of Engineers will open the Morganza spillway along the Mississippi River by Sunday, flooding millions of acres of rural farmland and sparing big cities like Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

"This is a historic amount of water," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said.

"Some people may think, 'Well, the house is not underwater yet,'" Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said. "But they don't know the road is closed, may become closed. So if in doubt, people should get out. We want people to be evacuated, not have to be rescued."

As much as 25 feet of water will spill out over 100 miles, displacing 2,500 people. In addition, 22,500 people and 11,000 structures in the backwater areas could be flooded.

If the gates remained closed and the levees along the Mississippi failed, Baton Rouge and New Orleans could both be flooded -- leaving a disaster worse than Katrina.

Inspectors are making daily checks of the levees that surround New Orleans.

"All indications are that the levees that have been inspected on a regular basis for some time, they're all holding and we are expecting them to do so," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Other low-lying areas are not faring as well. The Mississippi River has been breaking high-water records that have stood since the 1920s and '30s.

Barbour told residents to prepare for the worst, though he said the main levee was holding along the river.

President Obama is expected to meet with families affected by flooding along the river when he travels to Memphis, Tenn., on Monday. Friday, Republicans on the House Appropriations panel awarded $850 million to the Federal Emergency Management Agency  (FEMA) for disaster payments.

The Coast Guard also is likely to close the river to barge traffic next week, costing the U.S. economy $295 million a day. It's just the latest in a costly year of extreme weather disasters.

The massive Mississippi floods -- a seven-state, 560-mile liquid trail -- are adding to the nation's laundry list of expensive destruction. Already, there have been five separate billion-dollar storms and floods this year.

Copyright 2011 ABC New Radio 







ABC News Radio