Officials: As Mississippi River drops, floods still a threat

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — As the Mississippi River in New Orleans continues to drop, there is still a threat of flooding this spring across a third of the country.

The river dropped below 15 feet (4.6 meters) last week at the Carrollton gauge, located in the city’s uptown neighborhood, The Times-Picayune / New Orleans Advocate reported.

As the river levels decrease, the Army Corps of Engineers changed rules that prohibit construction work on or near the river. It has also revised river inspections from at least once a day to twice weekly.

But according to federal forecasters, an increase in rainfall across areas north of Louisiana will pose a threat of high river conditions through May. Highly saturated soil in areas where rainfall might occur will also increase the chances of flooding across central and southeastern states, officials added.

The Mississippi River watershed faces a risk of major or moderate flooding. Those conditions do not represent a threat of levee failure in Louisiana.

Some upper parts of the Mississippi River and other rivers are also predicted to reach high flood conditions this spring.

Upper river conditions along the northern Gulf Coast are expected to result in above-average dead zone conditions, said Ed Clark, the Director of NOAA’s National Water Center. This will make shrimp and fish go elsewhere.

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