River expected to produce more force than Niagara Falls

Disasters and AccidentsFloods and FloodingJohn BarryBaton RougeWGNO

Experts say once all the pins have been pulled at the Bonnet Carre Spillway, the force of water rolling through those bays will be as powerful as the water cascading from Niagra Falls.

The Spillway is opening to relieve pressure on the levee system and to protect Metro New Orleans.

The Spillway turns 80 this year and this would only be the 10th time in its history the Army Corps of Engineers opened the bays.

Massive flooding around Memphis is occuring right now up north. Some flooding may occur in south Louisiana when the Morganza Spillway in Pointe Coupee Parish opens perhaps later this week.

It will open to prevent flooding in South Baton Rouge, but it's neighbors farther South in Morgan City, Houma and points in between could see water as high as 25 feet.

"The system was designed to do just that," said John Barry author of "Rising Tide." A book that chronicles the flood of 1927.

Barry said that flood was larger than the one occuring now. Barry said the country did not have an elaborate flood control system as it has today.

River water is now pouring into nearby Lake Pontchatrain. The rich sediment will have a negative effect on the lake.

It will create algae bloom which will kill fish and other lake habit.

The Spillway will likely remain open for three weeks. Experts said it will take the lake atleast 5 to 6 months to recover.

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