Spillway of swollen Mississippi River open near New Orleans
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has opened a major spillway near New Orleans for the first time in years, seeking to decrease the flow of the swollen Mississippi River.
Heavy Mississippi Valley rain has sent the river to its highest stages since 2011, the last time the Bonnet Carre spillway was opened.
The NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports that New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu praised the spillway for safeguarding the city.
The National Weather Service said the river was cresting Sunday at Tunica, Mississippi, and Helena, Arkansas, amid reports of some flooding in low-lying areas near Vicksburg and Natchez in Mississippi.
The spillway was built 28 miles upriver from New Orleans after a devastating 1927 flood as a relief valve to send diverted waters eventually to the Gulf of Mexico.