Mississippi River Flood Update

The Mississippi River continues to rise in Louisiana, as do people’s concerns. As of today (1:00 pm), the Mississippi River has reached 17.08 ft. at the New Orleans gauge, and reports of small seeps in the levees, including along the French Quarter, have been reported.River Gauge at New Orleans this morningThe question weighing on everyone’s mind is whether they are going to be opening the Morganza Spillway, north of Baton Rouge, LA in order to relieve pressures on the Mississippi River levees. Apparently the Corps is still weighing their options, but they did release three draft maps showing the potential flooding for three worst-case scenarios. It is important to remember that if one area is flooded, that would reduce the chances of flooding in other areas, also areas on the map on the east bank of the Mississippi are not as accurate as the west bank. The first scenario, which was made public on assumes that the Bonnet Carré spillway is open 100% and the Morganza floodway is opened to 50%, diverting water down along the Atchafalaya River: Scenario 1The second scenario (and most sobering for those in Baton Rouge and New Orleans) assumes that the Bonnet Carré is open 100% and the Morganza is not opened at all, allowing all 1.8 million cubic feet per second to flow down the Misissippi: Scenario 2 The third Scenario assumes the full flow of the Bonnet Carré, and more water being diverted to the Atchafalaya via the Old River Control Structure: Scenario 3We expect to hear as early as tomorrow as to what the Corps will do regarding the opening of the Morganza Spillway. Continue to watch our blog for updates. You can also get more information from the Corps website. Matt is Science and Water Policy Director for GRN

Scroll to Top