Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mississippi floods threaten New Orleans

US army engineers open floodgate in effort to save New Orleans from the river's worst flooding since 1927

Residents in swampy areas of Louisiana's Cajun country are waiting for the rising waters of the Mississippi to engulf their homes, after army engineers opened a key floodgate in an effort to save New Orleans from the river's worst flooding since 1927.

Units of the US Army Corps of Engineers up the first gate on a structure known as the Morganza spillway, sending about 10,000 cubic feet of water per second into the Atchafalaya river basin.

Water shot through the gates like a waterfall, hurling fish from side to side the froth, witnesses said. The Associated Press reported that 100 acres were under a foot of water in the space of 30 minutes.

It was the first time the corps, which is in charge of running the Mississippi flood controls, had to resort to the spillway since 1973.

Engineers were predictable to open up at least two more gates on Sunday.

The operation was designed to divert water from the Mississippi, and decrease pressure on the levees protecting the cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

The planned distraction will send the water into the Atchafalaya Basin, and then onwards to the oil service town of Morgan City.

But it will drown about 3,000 square miles of low-lying, swampy land under up to 25 feet of water.

No comments:

Post a Comment