Will the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) open the Bonnet Carré Spillway this year?
If current trends continue, the USACE will not open the Bonnet Carré or Morganza spillways, despite published reports that might indicate otherwise.
Jeff Graschel of the National Weather Service’s Lower River Forecast Center and Ricky Boyett, spokesman for the New Orleans Division of the USACE, said they don’t think either the Bonnet Carré or Morganza spillways will be opened given all the information currently available.
“Right now, with what we have in the system,” Graschel said, “there’s no indication that there would be opening at this current time, and looking at the longer-range forecast, which predicts rain 2 to 3 weeks into the future, we’re not seeing any indications right now that the river would get high enough for that to happen either.”
“So if you’re looking at the current forecast,” Boyett said, “then it doesn’t look like Bonnet Carré or Morganza will be needed.”
Graschel and Boyett agree that it’s too early to say definitively whether or not the spillways will be opened.
“High-water season is generally March to June,” Boyett said, “so we’ve still got a long way to go before we can say we’re no longer going to be facing any high water.”