NEW ORLEANS (WDSU)— The Army Corps of Engineers has begun closing bays at the Bonnet Carré Spillway.
The Corps began closing the spillway Monday morning.
Initially, the Corps will close 10 of the 168 bays currently open. Operations are expected to begin at 9 a.m. The Corps will continue to assess conditions of the Mississippi River and perform closure operations based upon these conditions.
The Bonnet Carré Spillway is designed to ensure that a maximum river flow of 1.25 million cubic feet per second is passed through the Mississippi River and Tributaries System at New Orleans. Because the river has receded below the maximum flow at Red River Landing, the diversion of water into Lake Pontchartrain is no longer needed to safely pass the river flow through the New Orleans area.
Monday marks the 74th day the structure has been opened during this operation.
During the peak 161,000 cfs were being diverted through the flood control structure. This operation marks the first time the structure has been operated twice in one year and the first time it has been operated in back-to-back years.
Although water levels are receding, allowing the structure’s closure, the Mississippi River in the New Orleans District’s area of responsibility remains elevated. In the interest of public safety, the Corps will continue its flood fight operations.
Environmental monitoring and all subsurface construction restrictions remain in effect.