Well, it looks like the folks from Butte Larose lucked out this time. The news says they are returning home after having evacuated a couple weeks ago ahead of the spillway flooding that was headed their way.
The Army Corps of Engineers is claiming that the ground is so dry that it is reducing the water levels as it crosses over the parched terra. They continue to close bays on the spillways, as the Mississippi River is under control and not a threat to Baton Rouge or New Orleans.
The last city set to be flooded by the Morganza spillway waters was Morgan City. It appears now that they will be totally spared, with their local river, the Atachafalaya (where 1/3 of the Mississippi is diverted under normal circumstances) cresting three feet below what was first expected. Looks like we will get no water at all, when at first the Army Corps predicted 1-5 feet for us.
The big debate now is not whether the Army Corps has egg on their faces, but just how much do they have and how were they cooked?
Critics argue that the ACoE waited a day or two too late to open the first spillway, the Bonnet Carre, and that is why they had to open so many bays and allow so much water to pour through so quickly. But in their own defense, the ACoE is saying that their strategy worked as planned in reducing the Miss. River levels, and that’s all that matters.
But I must wonder how the people up in Missouri whose properties were sitting ducks in the path of the hydrologic onslaught when a Miss. River levee was blow out in order to reduce the river levels and take pressure off the levees feel? Would they like to see the ACoE develop a solution a little more sophisticated? I’m sure they would. And so I have a question for the ACoE. Why do they not have a spillway?
Same goes for the folks of Memphis, TN and Vicksburg, MS whose homes and businesses took on water to the roofs. Why is there not another solution for these people?
I’m not trying to over simplify a magnanimous job like controlling the Mighty Mississippi; but it is 2011. Isn’t there something that can be done to prevent future flooding in these areas?
While I have never drunk a whole glass of Global Warming Kool-Aid, I am swallowing the bitter pill of climate change. The weather patterns since last fall have been atypical down here, to say the least. How about where you live? We had winter temperatures earlier last fall than I ever recall. We had more days of freezing weather, more 20-something degree days than I remember, and winter lasted longer.
We’ve had cool days in May, and that is unheard of down here. The March winds have been blowing since March, and the April showers did not do their job precipitating the May flowers. We have had almost ZERO rain for nearly two months now. The grass in my yard is dead. And there are cracks in the ground that could swallow up a snake if it dared to slither longways over it.
But, the drought was the unlikely friend of the Atachafalaya Basin. Rumor has it you could hear the ground slurping up the water, quenching her thirst with all that record-breaking melted snow barreling down from up north.
And now there are all the tornadoes spinning across the country, causing destruction with no respect for geography or human life.
So, I ask you, oh great minds, what in the world is going on?
Weathering the dry weather,