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Watching The Mississippi River Levels
from Staff Reports - NEWS
March 2, 2018 -

LAKE PROVIDENCE, La. — The rivers and bayous are up after all the heavy rain this month, not just around northeast Lousiaiana, but through the central U.S.

People here are worried about the Mississippi River after some levees failed in 2011.

Right now though, levee officials are telling people to just stay calm. Even though the river is expected to crest near Major Flood Stage, crews have made improvements to the levees and they should hold.

The Mississippi River is expected to crest at 50.5 feet in Vicksburg by March 14th, so this won't be an overnight event. The one thing that would cause the river to keep rising above that height, though, is more rain.

Reynold Minsky is the President of the 5th Louisiana District Levee Board and says, "If a lot of rain falls up in Arkansas or Ohio, we would expect the river to rise even more than that. I hope it doesn't, but it's very possible."

He also says his crews have continued to make improvements to the levees by installing 90-foot-deep relief wells that help take pressure of the base of the structure.

"They let the water free flow, upwards, through the top. They've got a gash cut around the, uh, just above the ground level that let's the water out." Minsky says.

They also started adding height to the levees starting at the Arkansas State Line down to Tensas Parish and in southern Concordia Parish, but they still have more to do in Concordia Parish from Vidalia all the way to Tensas.

Even though the Levee Board has taken measures to prevent another failure, people still need to pay attention and be vigilant, "If there seems to be any danger we'll inform the people what they need to do."

Out of an abundance of caution, a State of Emergency has also been declared for most of the Parishes in northeast Louisiana because of the potential of river and bayou flooding.

Minsky says they also just need people to stay off the levees, "We don't need any traffic on the levee, we need it to be kept open for flood control only."

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