The Army Corps of Engineers has begun closing bays on Morganza Floodway, based on reduced flows in the Mississippi River at Red River Landing.

In a release posted on its Website today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, said the structure currently has 14 bays open with a discharge rate of 140,000 cfs. One bay was closed Tuesday evening and two more bays were closed Wednesday afternoon.

The Corps began opening the Morganza Floodway on May 14.

Working with the United States Geological Survey, “we have determined the Morganza Floodway was discharging at a rate of 172,000 cfs with 17 bays open, well below our initial estimates of 300,000 cfs, instead of the reported 114,000 cfs,” said Ken Holder, chief, public affairs office. “This discharge of 172,000 cfs is well within the water control plan for the structure, which is designed for a 600,000 cfs capacity. The discharge measurement has no effect on gate operations at the Morganza Floodway.”

Inundation maps were initially developed to reflect 50 percent operation of the Morganza Floodway and based upon a discharge rate of 300,000 cfs. Modified inundation maps reflect a Morganza Floodway discharge rate of 150,000 cfs, with 25 percent operation of the structure.

Operation of the structure is based on flow rates in the Mississippi River at Red River Landing and water stages at the Morganza Floodway structure itself.

Holder said the Corps will continue to assess conditions for the Mississippi River and “operate the Morganza Floodway and Bonnet Carre Spillway in the interest of public safety. The Corps will remain vigilant during this extended flood fight and will continue to assess water levels and conditions in the Atchafalaya Basin.”