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Monitoring Mississippi River Level

JEFFERSON PARISH (May 10, 2011) - Parish President John Young reports the current level of the Mississippi River in Jefferson Parish is 16.5 feet with an expected crest at 19.5 feet within the next five days. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicates opening the Bonnet Carre Spillway does not pose substantial flood risks to homes and businesses in Jefferson Parish, at this time.

The opening of an additional 44 bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway brings the total number of opened bays to 72 of 350, to date. This increases water flow through the Spillway to about 70,000 cubic feet per second. Spillway managers may consider opening an additional 38 bays tomorrow for a total of 110.

Eastbank and Westbank Levee Districts continue inspections of Jefferson Parish levees every hour of every day. There have been no reports of levee seepage on the Eastbank. Two locations on the Westbank are experiencing minor seepage: Marrero Road @ River Road and the levee adjacent to the Bridge City Center for the Youth.

The Department of Engineering at Avondale Ship Yards, located on the westbank of the Mississippi River, is monitoring tide levels because of potential damage to electrical equipment in the dock area.< br />
Regionally, there are reports the Mississippi River has risen past the flood stage of 17 feet at the Carrollton gauge in New Orleans. It is anticipated, if the Morganza Spillway is not opened, that level will continue to rise. That decision will be determined by the Mississippi River Commission.

"In the interest of public safety, we are asking residents to observe the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' "zero tolerance" policy prohibiting any activity or work of any kind within 1500 feet of the center line of the Mississippi River levee," Parish President Young said.



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