The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) continues the process towards a final decision to operate the Bonnet Carré Spillway as a flood control structure.

During a stakeholder meeting held via Zoom Video Conference at 1000 hours this morning (Thursday, April 2, 2020), the USACE’s Commander of the Mississippi Valley New Orleans (New Orleans District) Colonel Stephen Murphy, announced that he has made the recommendation to operate the Bonnet Carré Spillway.  The Colonel’s recommendation to operate the flood control structure has now been delivered to the Commanding General of the USACE Mississippi Valley Division, Major General Mark Toy.  M.G Toy also serves as the President of the Mississippi River Commission and the recommendation of the Commanding General is required to operate the flood control structure.

The opening could occur as early as tomorrow, Colonel Murphy mentioned expecting to open between 5 to 10 bays on the first day of operation during the teleconfernce.  The trigger point flow of 1.25 million cubic feet per second is expected by next week and the spillway structure’s operation would divert approximately 120,000 to 130,000 cubic feet per second through the structure and into Lake Pontchartrain.

Forecast predict the river stage to crest at 17.5 feet and typically the operation of the Bonnet Carré Spillway would manage that stage level at approximately 17 feet.

The meetings and opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway will not be opened to the public for the first time in history due to the quarantine or social-distancing requirements for COVID-19.

An official announcement from M.G. Toy is expected later today and once it is confirmed an update will be issued.