ST. CHARLES (WGNO) - For some of us it's just another day, but for the small community of Norco, the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway is an event in and of itself.
“It's cool when they open the Spillway because if this doesn't happen, a lot of people are affected by it," says Danielle Yenugant.
The last time the Spillway was opened was in 2011, so, in essence, Sunday's opening of Bonnet Carre is history in the making.
The event brought hundreds to its shores and just one day later although the masses have come and gone there are still those who are captivated by its massive flows.
"I think it's cool to go see the gates open," says April Mata.
And with the opening of the gates comes a surplus of fish.
"You have more fish coming out of the ponds trying to swim upstream and we're snagging them coming through," says Dane Haydel.
Haydel calls the excess catch a "playground in the river."
He caught two buffalo fish when our cameras were at the Spillway it's a popular spot.
"I'm glad that people can come out and see what's going on in St. Charles Parish and all that's going on in the Spillway,” says Justin Mata.
The Spillway reduces flood risk for New Orleans and other downstream communities during major floods of the Mississippi River and it works by diverting a portion of the floodwaters into Lake Pontchartrain and then into the Gulf of Mexico bypassing New Orleans altogether.
"It's very interesting and amazing to see that we have come up with such a system that can direct all of this water and help save lives and the cost of flooding," says Rachel Mata.