The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Tuesday afternoon that Mississippi River water levels have risen high enough to increase inspections of the levees.
The river gauge at Carrollton in New Orleans reached the trigger point Tuesday of more than 11 feet of water, with an expectation that the river would continue to rise.
The corps, working with local levee districts along the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge south on the east bank and Donaldsonville south on the west bank, will do twice-weekly inspections. These inspections will continue until the water drops below 11 feet at the river gauge in New Orleans, the Corps reported.
Some types of work within 1,500 feet of the levee are also prohibited while the Mississippi River is more than 11 feet and rising at the Carrollton gauge. The Corps asks anyone with a permit to do work in this area to contact the local levee district for information.
On Tuesday, the river level at the Carrollton gauge was 11.2 feet and the water was expected to reach 14 feet by March 30, according to the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center. Flood stage, or that point at which water would over flow natural banks, at New Orleans is 17 feet. The river levees through New Orleans provide protection up to 20 feet, according to the forecast center.
In Baton Rouge, the river level was at 30.2 feet Tuesday and was expected to rise to a peak level of 35.5 feet by March 29. Flood stage in Baton Rouge is 35 feet, but the levees protect up to at least 46 feet. In 2011, water levels at Baton Rouge rose to 45 feet.