Evacuation order eased in Louisiana

Mandatory evacuation called off after floodwaters did not rise as high as feared

OPELOUSAS, La. (UPI) | May 24, 2011



"We are still not sure how much water this area will receive. We are still strongly suggesting voluntary evacuation"

—Don Menard


Mandatory evacuation was called off in part of southern Louisiana after floodwaters did not rise as high as feared, an official said.

On Monday, St. Landry Parish President Don Menard lifted the order he had issued May 15, after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began diverting water from the Mississippi River into the Morganza Spillway, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported.

"We are still not sure how much water this area will receive. We are still strongly suggesting voluntary evacuation," he said.

Corps officials said the water has flowed more slowly than expected because of drought and low levels in tributaries of the Atchafalaya River.

The Atchafalaya is expected to crest at a record 11 feet by the end of May.

The Coast Guard partially reopened the Mississippi River to northbound traffic Monday after closing it Friday because of a barge accident; the southbound channel is still closed. Three barges are sunk near Wilkinson Point but do not pose a danger, Lt. Cmdr. Quincy Davis said.

A Canadian National rail line west of New Orleans was closed Monday after a bridge over the Bonnet Carre Spillway was found to be damaged, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported. The section is between Kenner and LaPlace.

Copyright 2011 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.


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