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That Sinking Feeling: How Can Flood Protection Be Improved? [Slide Show]

One thing is certain, regardless of how much infrastructure is built up along major waterways such as the Mississippi, they will periodically reclaim territory occupied by communities living along their riverbanks

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BLOWING BIRDS POINT

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers breached the levee at Birds Point as part of the activation of the floodway.....[ More ]

BIRDS POINT-NEW MADRID FLOODWAY

View of explosives barge after being set in place alongside levee at upper crevasse (first breach, inflow) of Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway, May 2, 2011.....[ More ]

TIMBER!

At the Bonnet Carre Spillway, two cranes are used to individually lift timbers from bays of the spillway and place them horizontally across the structure. A complete opening of all 7,000 timbers from the 350 bays in the spillway structure requires about 36 hours.....[ More ]

UNDER CONTROL

A controllable spillway employs movable gates to regulate the volume of flow being discharged.....[ More ]

AERIAL VIEW OF BONNET CARRE

We have probably diked off too much of the river's active flood plain; in many cases close to 90 percent of the historic flood plain, Rogers says.....[ More ]

DIVERTING

Current flood conditions can in part be traced back to a number of factors, including the buildup of shallow flood barriers atop loose soil along the Mississippi and its tributaries over time that narrowed their pathways.....[ More ]

BAY WATCH

By the end of Friday, May 13, a total of 264 spillway bays (out of 350) were to be opened at Bonnet Carre, according to the Corps, which plans to open additional bays as needed.....[ More ]

EVEN FLOW

A spillway is simply a "flow control structure," whereby excess floodwaters can be safely diverted out of a river or around a dam, says Rogers.....[ More ]

SPILL UNDERWAY

Thousands of people attended the opening throughout the day.....[ More ]

GATHERING AT BONNET CARRE SPILLWAY

The Army Corps of Engineers began opening Louisiana's Bonnet Carre Spillway on May 9 to reduce the volume of water heading toward New Orleans.....[ More ]

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