[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons” url=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NODInundationMay2011Scenario2.jpg”]
The Morganza floodway, a safety valve on the Mississippi River that allows water to flow into low lying areas north of major cities, is set to be opened today unleashing a wall of water on the region.The water flow will impact at least 2,500 people, and potentially as many as 22,500, according to Bloomberg.
The opening of Louisiana’s Morganza floodway today may send enough water to fill a football field 10 feet deep every second across the heart of Cajun country, eventually filling an area almost as large as Connecticut.
Major General Michael Walsh, president of the Mississippi River Commission, has told Col. Edward Fleming to open the spillway as soon as the river’s flow reaches 1.5 million cubic feet per second at Louisiana’s Red River Landing, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement.
The flood is already impacting the area around Memphis, and farmland there is expected to be underwater through the summer. When the floodgate is opened, 15,000 acres of farmland will be flooded in Louisiana as well.
The opening of the Morganza floodway will also have an impact on oil and gas production in the region, as several refineries operate in affected areas.