Ad Spot

Morganza Spillway opening postponed

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Plans to open a major Mississippi River spillway have been canceled, at least for the time being.

Part of the Morganza Spillway structure northwest of Baton Rouge had been scheduled to open Sunday. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday that the opening has been indefinitely postponed.

Sunday’s opening had been planned to keep the river from overtopping the structure. However, Corps spokesman Ricky Boyett says the latest forecasts don’t show the river reaching levels that would require the Morganza opening. He cautioned that the Corps isn’t ruling out an opening later in the year.

The indefinite postponement is good news for farmers whose crops would have been lost by spillway flooding. The spillway covers nearly 112 square miles (290 square kilometers). Roughly one-third is used as farmland.

A forecast that the river will reach a certain level at a certain date will trigger the plans to open spillway structures.

Authorities had considered opening the Morganza as early as June 2. Changing forecasts twice led the Corps to change projected opening dates, first to June 6, then to June 9.

At the National Weather Service office in Slidell, hydrologist Jeff Graschel said many factors contribute to forecast revisions. Those include amounts and locations of rainfall that put water into the Mississippi or its tributaries.

A big factor in the changes in the current forecasts, Graschel said, are levee breaches and over-toppings along the Arkansas River, resulting in a slower-than-forecast rate of water flowing into the Mississippi.

Any opening this year would be the second time the Morganza structure has been used to control floodwaters. Morganza was opened in 2011 for flood control. In 1973, it was used to protect an upriver flood control structure.

News

Leap Day unique for local anniversaries, birthdays

News

Community heartbroken over death of former classmate, star quarterback

News

Absentee voting underway for Mississippi presidential and congressional primaries

News

Celebrating Black History: Natchez resident describes Parchman Ordeal experience

News

Celebrating Black History: Local museum adds unique dimension to Natchez story

News

Celebrating Black History: Forks of Road tells story of second largest slave market in the South

News

Signing off: Rosco on the Radio retiring after 30 years

News

Bandits take iron from graveyards

News

Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration starts today with Faulkner film

News

Weekend Ticket: Black history parade is Saturday in Natchez

News

3 more accused in shooting of Alcorn State students

News

Two arrested in connection with December shooting

News

Margaret Martin to get repairs ahead of May music festival

BREAKING NEWS

Natchez man killed in Wednesday morning wreck on I-55 near McComb

News

One last bling: Students turn campus into Mardi Gras celebration

News

Community members polled on issues facing state

News

No bond set for double murder suspect

News

Cathedral junior wins Silver Key Award for essay writing

News

Stahlman remembered for his love of community, family

News

Pets of the Week

News

Party Packs: Vidalia Lower Elementary students pack in last of Mardi Gras fun

News

Suicide awareness forum Thursday

News

TV investigative series focuses on murder suspect with Natchez ties 

News

Krewe of ‘Good Times’ lets the good times roll