NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The Army Corps of Engineers is monitoring the Mississippi River closely as the storm system approaches and could lead to some very high levels.
Currently, the Carrollton gauge in New Orleans reads just over 16 feet. The flood stage is 17 feet, but the river could go past that as the weekend approaches.
Experts say the river is expected to hit 19 feet Friday and a flood warning has been issued for the New Orleans area. That would put it just under the 20 to 21 foot levees in New Orleans with the levees in Jefferson Parish reaching 25 feet.
The Army Corps of Engineers is already operating the Bonnet Carré Spillway to alleviate the pressure and have been doing so for the last several weeks.
Officials with the Corps say they do not plan to have to open any more bays than they already have although that could change as they learn more about the storm system.
Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Ricky Boyett says considering the high river and the expected rainfall, the storm will be testing both their hurricane system and the river control structure at the same time.
“We want to be conservative. We want to start planning for that worst-case scenario so you’re planning for the worst. You hope for the best but as time goes on, we’ll have better information and that information will be shared with everyone,” says Boyett.
The RTA has closed ferry service from Algiers to the Central Business District until further notice and the Corps of Engineers warns that the current river level will continue making navigation and docking difficult.