Rising Mississippi River spurs daily patrols of West Bank levee – Article by Andrea Shaw (NOLA.com/The Times Picayune)

High River

With the Mississippi River rising above 13 feet, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West is conducting daily patrols looking for troublespots in the flood protection s system. In this 2011 file photo, debris carried by the rising river stacks up along the levee in Algiers, down river from the Crescent City Connection. (NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

By Andrea Shaw, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune  March 26, 2015

With the Mississippi River rising above 13 feet, the West Bank levee authority is conducting daily patrols to monitor possible flooding. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West also is marshaling assets to plug low spots in Avondale and to respond to problem areas if needed, regional director John Monzon said.

The Army Corps of Engineers activated the first phase of its “flood fight” plan March 17 when the river rose above 11 feet at the Carrollton gauge in New Orleans. Levee officials said the corps is conducting twice weekly inspections.

By Tuesday (March 24), the Carrollton gauge recorded a water level of almost 13 feet, 3 inches. “It’s expected to crest at 14 feet on April 1. Daily patrols are ongoing and we have increased patrols,” Monzon said. “Based on snow melt and the current rain in the Ohio, Missouri and Mississippi Valley, it could exceed that.”

Flood stage at Carrollton is 17 feet.

Monzon said the authority has performed an inventory of sand, sandbags and Hesco baskets, and he expects to request more resources. Additional Hesco baskets would cost more than $10,000.

Crews will fill in low spots at the old Avondale shipyard site, which shut down last year. When the site was active, the levee authority had an agreement with the company to close gaps during high water, Monzon said.

“This is a precautionary measure,” he said. “We want to be prepared.”

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