Corps Sends Annual Notice To Floodway Residents

As in each year near the start of spring, the New Orleans Engineer District has sent a notice to landowners, residents and leaseholders within Mississippi River floodways in Louisiana, reminding them of risks present should the Corps activate floodways in response to high water.

“The notice serves as a reminder to those that live, operate and/or do business within these floodways that there is a risk that they may experience flooding if the floodways are activated,” the notice, dated March 20, stated.

The reminder was sent to landowners, residents and lessees within the Bayou Des Glaises Loop, the Old River Control Structure project area, the West Atchafalaya Floodway and the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway, along with landowners, trailer owners and lessee-operators within the Morganza Floodway.

“The annual notice reminds those with interests in these floodways that it is their responsibility to minimize environmental contamination and that all water and gas wells must be sealed and capped to prevent any contamination from floodwaters,” the notice stated.

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If high water on the Mississippi River forces the Corps to activate any of the flood control features, the Corps will issue public notices through local leaders and the news media. Lead time will be sufficient to allow for the “evacuation of people and livestock and for removal of personal belongings,” the Corps stated.

The three floodways, the Old River Control Structure and the Bayou Des Glaises Loop comprise parts of the Mississippi River and Tributaries Project. Bayou Des Glaises, Old River and the West Atchafalaya Floodway are all located near where the Red, Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers almost come together. The Morganza Floodway is just downriver. All are designed to control the rivers in periods of high water, discharging excess flow into the 833,000-acre, 110-mile-long Atchafalaya Basin Floodway, which sends all that water past Morgan City, La., and to the Gulf of Mexico.