mississippi river

Doc Hawley first started working on riverboats in 1957 and stayed on board until his retirement a few years ago.
Historic New Orleans Collection / Historic New Orleans Collection

Every day in the French Quarter people are drawn – almost magnetically - to the riverboat calliope. There is an undeniable nostalgic sound to it and it may even remind you of childhood. But romance aside, this icon of Americana has its own history, which Captain Doc Hawley shared with the Historic New Orleans Collection and Nola Life Stories.

After opening up the Bonnet Carre Spillway upriver of New Orleans on Sunday the Army Corps of Engineers has decided it won’t need to open the Morganza Spillway. The Corps issued a statement Monday, saying that based on current forecasts it won’t be necessary in order to relieve the swollen Mississippi River.

The Army Corps of Engineers used small cranes to slowly begin opening up the Bonnet Carre Spillway.
Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carré Spillway Sunday morning in order to relieve the swollen Mississippi River and prevent flooding in New Orleans.

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Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Colonel Rick Hansen, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District,  says it’s time to open the Bonnet Carre Spillway in order to divert floodwaters and protect New Orleans.
Tegan Wendland / WWNO

As the Mississippi and Red Rivers rise, officials are grappling with how to manage all of the water. The Army Corps of Engineers may open the Mississippi River’s Bonnet Carré Spillway this weekend.

New Orleans District Commander, Col. Rick Hansen, says it is time to open the spillway. Just west of the city, it diverts the Mississippi River to protect New Orleans.

Mississippi River flood stage predictions over the most recent, and next several, days.
National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Mississippi River in New Orleans and surrounding areas, effective January 12. This comes as floodwater from devastating winter rain in the Midwest makes its way south.

The river is expected to reach flood stage, 17 feet, in the next week. Rain is also in the forecast starting Wednesday night, adding to the risk of flooding. NWS warns not to drive cars through flooded areas.

Tobin Fricke

Governor Bobby Jindal has issued a state of emergency as the Mississippi River rises due to floodwater making its way south after heavy rain the Midwest.

mississippiriverdelta.org

The state announced on Wednesday that it will divert water from the Mississippi River to rebuild eroding wetlands in Plaquemines Parish.

The Mid-Barataria and Mid-Breton diversions are the first two projects of this scale.

America's Watershed Initiative

A new report card for the Mississippi River basin is not good. The lower Mississippi gets a D+ from a water coalition due to poor infrastructure maintenance, run-down levees and unhealthy fish.

America’s Watershed Initiative is a coalition of industry, academic and environmental groups. Its report card graded watersheds along the river, and the river as a whole, by looking at ecosystems, transportation, water supply, flood control and the economy.

Maritime traffic along the Mississippi River in Louisiana is getting back to normal after three ships collided about 60 miles west of New Orleans. The Coast Guard is escorting ships between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

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