Louisiana Officials say ‘Prepare’
It is so strange to know that a disaster is headed your way; and all you can do is wait and watch it happen, and prepare for the worst.
The highest point of the Baton Rouge levee is 48 feet, a mere 6 inches above the level the river is expected to reach, IF this spillway isn’t opened. In most areas of Baton Rouge, the levee is not at that 48-foot high point. The spillway will be opened; but if it isn’t, then many areas of Baton Rouge, including the LSU campus, will experience some flooding. Opening the spillway will result in flooding of less populated areas, but will reduce the water’s level in Baton Rouge by 1.5 feet.
I’m not quite sure how they figure all this out, I just hope they are accurate and the estimates aren’t low by a foot or two, that would be disastrous.
There are 2,500 people and 2,000 structures within the Atchafalaya River basin at risk when the Morganza Spillway opens, Gov. Bobby Jindal said during a news conference Tuesday.
In areas that will experience backwater flooding, it’s estimated that an additional 22,500 people and 11,000 structures could be affected, Jindal said.
Although these are rough estimates, Jindal said, they should give parish officials and residents a better idea of the response needed.
At the same time, it’s expected the Morganza Spillway opening could reduce high water flowing past Baton Rouge by 1.5 feet from the expected crest of 47.5 feet, said Tom Holden, deputy district engineer for programs and project management with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The trigger for opening the Morganza Spillway is when 1.5 million cubic feet per second of water is flowing in the Mississippi River by the Red River Landing. Right now, that flow is 1.36 million cubic feet per second, Jindal said.
“We expect to reach that trigger on Saturday or Sunday,” Jindal said, adding that a decision on opening the spillway could be made from Saturday to Tuesday.
Jindal repeated that people should not wait to prepare.
“There’s no reason for folks to delay,” Jindal said.
Corps computer models show that when the spillway is opened, about 3 million acres statewide and 18,000 crop land acres within the Atchafalaya River basin will be flooded.