Army Corps of Engineers announce Morganza Spillway will open
Mississippi River Commission President and United States Army Corps Of Engineers Mississippi Valley Division Commander Maj. Gen. Richard Kaiser has approved the request to operate the Morganza Control Structure and Floodway.
If forecasted conditions remain unchanged, the operation will begin June 2, 2019.
Current forecasts indicate that the river will reach a stage in excess of 62 feet at Red River Landing on June 5, 2019.
Based on this information, the USACE New Orleans District Commander Col. Michael Clancy requested permission to operate the Morganza Floodway to prevent the flood control structure from over-topping, to minimize stress in levees reaches and to preserve encroachment on free-board downstream.
On June 2, a slow open will begin, allowing wildlife to reach safety.
The gradual opening of the floodway will also allow the Corps to limit elevations in the floodway by adding just one foot of water per day, for the first three days.
This will be only the third time in history that the Morganza Floodway will operated (1973, 2011.)
USACE says the current flood fight is historic, at 214 days and counting, and is expected to surpass the 1973, 225-day flood fight.
This flood is also the first time the Bonnet Carre Spillway has been opened back-to-back years as well as the first time it has been operated twice in the same calendar year.