Louisiana watches Mississippi River flooding in Midwest

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Lower course of the Mississippi through New Orleans (Source: Wikipedia) Lower course of the Mississippi through New Orleans (Source: Wikipedia)

Port officials in New Orleans are not expecting flooding along the Mississippi River in the Midwest to cause an interruption in shipping in Louisiana, but they are getting prepared.

One official said the flooding problem this year is nowhere near the stages seen in 2011 at this point.

It was just two years ago the Army Corps of Engineers opened the Morganza Flood Control Structure to keep overflowing along the lower Mississippi River. Prior to that, it had not been opened since 1973, which was the first time water was allowed to flow through the floodgates since the construction was completed in 1954.

Right now, the river is expected to crest in New Orleans at 14 feet on May 11. That's three feet below flood stage.

The Mississippi River levees in the New Orleans area are built to protect against a 20-foot crest at the Carrolton gauge. That's six feet above what they're expecting this spring.

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