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Mississippi FloodingWas the Army Corps of engineers correct about their decision to open the Morganza spillway in order relieve the Mississippi from flooding New Orleans and Baton Rouge at the expense of the Atchafalaya River Basin?

Issue Background

Record water levels of the Mississippi rivers caused floods from Illinois to Louisiana in April/May 2011. The Mississippi river overflowed to cause dramatic flooding in Memphis and other towns along the river coming down from the Ohio River. The water levels were expected to breach the levees in Baton Rouge and New Orleans by the middle of May, but the Army Corps of engineers decided to open a series of spillways (outlets off of the river) to relieve pressure. The goal for opening the spillways is to keep water levels low enough to not cause flooding to the heavily populated areas of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The most controversial spillway is caused the Morganza spillway which will likely cause flooding along the bayous of SE Louisiana.

Key Arguments

» Yes

  • The population sizes of New Orleans and Baton Rouge is much larger than the population affected by opening the spillway.

» No

  • The Army Corps's actions will cause the destruction of thousands of people's homes.


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