Corps Checks Levees Daily As River Rises

This story was reported for WWNO -- New Orleans Public Radio

The Mississippi River rose high along the Algiers levee last week (TEGAN WENDLAND/WWNO)

The Mississippi River remains high as floodwater makes its way south from the Midwest, and the Army Corps of Engineers is inspecting the levees daily for problems like leaks.

Employees drive or walk along the levees twice a week between Baton Rouge and Venice. That’s something they do automatically when the river reaches 11 feet at the Carrollton gauge in New Orleans -- 11 feet above sea level. The Corps calls it “Phase One flood fight” mode.

Now it’s time for Phase 2 -- activated when the river reaches 15 feet. Inspectors will be out every day patrolling for problems until the river drops back below 15 feet. According to the current forecast, that won’t happen for another two weeks.

The National Weather Service expects the river to crest on June 2nd, but the Corps says it does not expect to open the Bonnet Carré spillway, which would let extra water flow into Lake Pontchartrain.