Mississippi River expected to crest at 16.5 feet, but not enough to force opening of spillway

Areas of spillway currently closed due to flooding

Heavy rains from the North and Midwest are expected to make the Mississippi River crest at 16.5 feet by May 28, just narrowly missing the “trigger” the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers relies on to open the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway.

Corps spokesman Matt Roe said the trigger is 17 feet.

If the National Weather Service forecast holds on anticipated rainfall, Roe said the river is expected to crest at 16.5 feet for a week and begin to recede without the need to open the spillway to ease high water.

Roe has been monitoring  rainfall from the North and doesn’t anticipate the Corps opening the spillway.

However, the water level is high in the area.

Bonnet Carre’ Spillway Road is closed from Norco to Montz because of high water until further notice, according to Parish spokesman Tristan Babin.

Roe said the ATV area also has been closed several weeks, also because of high water.

The high water also served as an opportunity for the Corps of Engineers to hold a training practice in which Corps workers opened a bay of the spillway and closed it.

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