Ten more bays in the Bonnet Carre Spillway will be opened on Thursday as the Mississippi River keeps rising and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works to control the river height.
So far, 90 of the 350 bays of the Bonnet Carre structure have been opened, allowing 91,800 cubic feet per second to flow from the swollen Mississippi River into Lake Pontchartrain. The goal is to keep the river flow past New Orleans at no more than 1.25 million cubic feet per second which roughly works out to 17 feet.
At the Overbank Structure in the Old River Complex in central Louisiana, 21 of the 73 bays are open for a flow of 53,000 cfs and the Corps plans to open 19 more Thursday for a total flow of just under 100,000 cfs.
As of Thursday morning, the river stage at New Orleans was 16.6 feet and expected to reach 17 by Friday.
In Baton Rouge, the river stage was at 41.9 feet and expected to reach a top level of 43.5 feet on Monday. Flood stage in Baton Rouge is 35 feet, but levees protect to at least 47 feet.
In Morgan City, the Atchafalaya River was at 7.24 feet and is forecast to rise to 8 feet on Jan. 23 creating flooding on the river side of the floodwall.