Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Louisiana Flood 2011

As of today, it appears that 17 of 125 gates have been opened on the Morganza Spillway. And it appears that opening the Morganza has helped absorb the rising floodwaters, and stoppd the Mississippi River from rising.

That being said, unless we have a lot of rain in the north and a whole lot more snow melt coming, no one should flood except some houses in the Atchafalaya Spillway.

And that means de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours will not be severely impacted by the flood unless you are NOT coming here to do swamp tours because you think we are out of business.

Actually Lake Martin is not in the spillway and is thus,

protected by the levees on the west side of the Atchafalaya Basin. And think about it: it is a swamp tour, it goes up and down with the water. The positive side of the high floodwaters in the basin is crawfish, and you can read the last post to get more info on that.

The Bonnet Carey spillway rushes into Lake Pontchartrain, as seen from a car on Interstate 10.

The levee protection system in place is doing it's job and containing the flood waters inside the levees along the Mississippi River, and the Atchafalaya Basin Swamp as seen below.

As you can see in the photo above most people live on the outside of the spillway and are thus protected by the levee system designed to keep floodwaters in a contained area.

The dire predictions of wide spread flooding "in" the spillway were perhaps relevant at the time, prior to opening the Morganza

and Bonnet Carey Spillways,

but now that those distribution outlets are doing their job,

the Mississippi River appears to have crested at New Orleans and Baton Rouge as seen below. "Crested" means it is no longer rising.

So, fortunately, the people of Swaze Lake, Krotz Springs, Melville, Bayou Catabla,

and Butte la Rose,

are breathing a sigh of relief. But, they should not let their guard down, because the Morganza is being opened, just a lot slower than we were led to believe.

But, the water is coming, and slowly being absorbed by the area, and not only allowing residents more time, it allows wildlife time to evacuate as well.

The floodwaters are being contained in the spillway and due to drought, the dry earth is absorbing a lot of the flood water in the Morganza area.

The present emergency situation erupted in Louisiana last week when the levees were breached at Lake Providence, La. and farmland began to flood as seen above.

Although some of the wildlife impacted by this flood are ideally adapted to the situation such as the alligator above, other species are imperilled if they can't get to dry land to rest, such as the exhuasted whitetail deer below being rescued by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries personel during the flood of 1973.