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May 15, 2011 3:07 PM by AP Posted by James H Egbert

Slow opening of spillway continues in Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal authorities have announced plans to open two more gates of Louisiana's Morganza Spillway.

That will increase the diversion of Mississippi River water, flooding rural areas along the Atchafalaya River basin, while easing flood threats to Baton Rouge and, New Orleans.

The first two massive gates were opened yesterday.

The opening is sending water into largely rural St. Landry Parish, where authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order this morning for low lying areas near the town of Krotz Springs.

Meanwhile, forecasters say the Mississippi has crested at New Orleans at 17 feet above sea level - lower than forecasts had predicted before the opening of the Morganza and the earlier opening of the Bonnet Carre spillway last week.

 

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