On second thought: Corps says opening Morganza Spillway isn’t necessary

Published 2:22 pm Thursday, June 6, 2019

Plans to open a major Mississippi River spillway have been canceled.

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

Sunday’s opening had been planned to keep the river from overtopping the structure. However, 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.

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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.