The opening of Louisiana's Morganza Spillway is getting the press, but the story of the Mississippi River’s rise isn’t fully written yet. The river's mighty expanse is pushing records and testing limits.
As of Sunday morning, river heights were nearing the records set back during the terrible 1927 flood. Even the opening of the Morganza hasn’t lowered levels considerably yet and river passage is getting more risky.
Having spent the last few days reporting from locations all over the lower part of Louisiana, it's clear that the "all clear" has yet to be given. River heights around Baton Rouge stand at more than 43 feet and the river’s crest is still a few days away. Though state officials say they are confident the levees will keep most of the rising water back, nerves are still on high and will be for a few more weeks.
That stretch of the Mississippi is massively important to the nation’s economy. The Port of South Louisiana, which includes New Orleans, is the largest port by tonnage in the Western Hemisphere. The 10 refineries between Baton Rouge and New Orleans refine about 13 percent of America’s total petroleum every day.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page