On Thursday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced that the portion of Highway 1 adjacent to and crossing the floodway will be closed to traffic beginning at 10 a.m. on June 2, 2019. It will reopen no later than 5 p.m.
The USACE will begin the process of gradually opening the Morganza Floodway in order to prevent flooding along the Mississippi River. They anticipate that it will be necessary to divert 150,000 cubic feet per second of water by June 5 in order to keep the river below the spillway’s 60-foot elevation.
An interactive map released by the USACE shows the level of flooding expected along the floodway and the Atchafalaya Basin. If the Morganza is opened for the expected 20 to 25 days, both areas should see anywhere between 6 to 15 feet of water.
Residents of Morgan City, who have already been fighting floodwater since February are bracing for the spillway’s opening. Local fisheries and farms are also concerned about the devastating impacts that opening the spillway will have on their industries as well.
For safety reasons, the opening of the spillway will not be open to the public. Those who want to view the event can watch a live stream provided by the New Orleans District on their Facebook page.
Jenn Bentley has been a freelance writer and editor for the past 10 years. Her work has been featured in publications such as Examiner.com, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. Follow her on Twitter: @JennBentley_