Flood warning lifted for New Orleans

Published 11:26 pm Friday, May 27, 2011

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Mississippi River at New Orleans fell below its flood stage Friday morning and a flood warning was canceled for the area, though one remained farther upriver, including Baton Rouge.

Meanwhile, a flood-damaged train bridge west of New Orleans has been repaired. Canadian National Railway spokesman Patrick Waldron said the bridge was completed and was being inspected Friday afternoon in anticipation of it being opened later in the day.

Debris hitting a pier supporting the bridge over the Bonnet Carre Spillway likely caused the damage, which was reported Tuesday.

Email newsletter signup

Freight had to be re-routed and Amtrak had to use buses to shuttle passengers at the Louisiana end of its City of New Orleans route that goes from New Orleans to Chicago. Amtrak officials did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

A spillway was opened earlier this month to divert water from the swollen Mississippi River away from New Orleans. The Morganza spillway, north of Baton Rouge, was opened later, aiding the capital city and further relieving potential pressures on the New Orleans levees.

The Mississippi River at New Orleans fell below its 17-foot flood state Friday morning.

The river is expected to remain at a stage of 16.8 feet in New Orleans through Memorial Day and drop to 16.7 feet on Tuesday. The levels could fluctuate due to tides and the Army Corps of Engineers’ operation of the Bonnet Carre spillway north of New Orleans and the Morganza floodway.

Levees protect the city of New Orleans up to 20 feet.