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Important notice on Mississippi River from New Orleans CVB

Loyola announcement - May 10, 2011

Statement Re: Mississippi River
Monday, May 09, 2011
1:45 PM CST

Due to heavy rain in the Mississippi Valley and rising Mississippi River water stages and flow, visitors and clients have asked questions regarding any implications this may have for New Orleans. New Orleans is not subject to the type of river and tributary flooding seen along other parts of the Mississippi River due to the extensive water diversion systems that guide high river waters away from New Orleans and other river communities. For example, on Monday, May 9, 2011 the United States Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway to alleviate pressure, flow and water levels of the Mississippi River.

Located in St. Charles Parish, 28 miles above New Orleans, the Bonnet Carre Spillway is a structure that diverts water from the Mississippi River into Lake Pontchartrain then to the Gulf of Mexico, thus allowing high waters to bypass New Orleans. The structure has a design capacity of 250,000 cubic feet per second, the equivalent of roughly 1,870,000 gallons of water per second. This strategy was last implemented in 2008 and the Army Corps tested the system April 5, 2011.

Supplemental tactics such as activating the Morganza Floodway, another water diversion structure located 35 miles northwest of Baton Rouge, can provide additional layers of protection if needed.

Activation of the spillway creates no disruption to daily life of residents, businesses or visitors in New Orleans and we look forward to hosting you soon.

Kelly Schulz
Vice President, Communications & Public Relations
New Orleans CVB