Corps Activates Its Phase One Flood Fight

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has activated their Phase One Flood Fight saying the Mississippi River is rising. WGNO News Anchor Vanessa Bolano takes a look at what’s expected to happen over the next several weeks.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is checking levees and looking for weak spots. It’s their response as the Mississippi rises above 11 feet on the Carrollton gauge Uptown, and the Corps activates its Phase One Flood Fight.

“That’s really our trigger point,” explains Coprs spokesman Ricky Boyett, “It gives us more time to identify areas we need to watch. It gives us the time to respond quicker.”

Boyett says they’re watching and waiting, but they expect an average year. So far nothing like 2011 when the river caused the corps to open the Bonnet Carre Spillway and the Morganza.

In Slidell, Meteorologist Jeffrey Graschel with the National Weather Service is always keeping an eye on the Mississippi River, after all about 40% of the nation’s water drains into it.

“Currently right now we don’t have the conditions that are favorable for having anything close to what we had in 2011. Certainly if we were to get 20 or 30 inches of rainfall in the Ohio valley or Mississippi valley it could be a different story,” says Graschel.

It’s a forecast those at the Corps hope remains constant as they’ll do all that’s needed to keep levels in at the Carrollton gauge at or under 17 feet.

“We don’t want to operate that, the Bonnet Carrie, we don’t want to operate Morganza, but it’s important to know that they are there, and they’re in good condition, and they’re ready to operate if necessary,” says Boyett.

Phase Two is activated when the river reaches 15 feet above at the Carrollton gauge. At this point Graschel says the Mississippi River is expected to crest in five or six days under that.

The National Weather Service says we should be dealing with these peak rises through the beginning of June.