High water on the MS River threatens Louisiana levee system - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

High water on the MS River threatens Louisiana levee system

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LAKE PROVIDENCE, LA (WLBT) – River watchers in Vicksburg are keeping a cautious eye on the Mississippi River. 

The water level dropped a foot Sunday night, but officials in Lake Providence, Louisiana are concerned about their levee system. 

The river at Vicksburg looks high and is just 2.7 feet below flood stage. 

The highest stage on the Mississippi usually comes in April or may, so there is a long time to watch a full river.  

Small boils, like this one at lake providence, are springing up on the Louisiana side.  

This water is coming under the huge main line levee system and if it is not constantly monitored, it can grow into a much larger boil, which would have to be surrounded by sandbags.  

The job of watching the river on a daily basis falls on people like Reynold S. Minsky, who has served as president of the 5th Louisiana Levee Board since 1995. 

"We have got to be very careful and very aware of what's going on. We have to look at these things daily.  Now the boils I showed you in Lake Providence are not major boils. They are there and we have got to watch them, because if they begin to bring more material, we are gonna have to do something about it." 

There are about 500 pressure relief wells like this one that go down 90 feet to safely channel the water going under the levee to the surface.  

Minsky has been warned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carefully watch the river this year. 

"For this time of the year it's awfully high. The graph that the corps has drawn has it between the 1927 flood, and the 1973 flood, now that's high," said Minsky. 

The water going under the main line levee system could undermine it and cause it to fail.  The levee protects the state of Louisiana from a flooding Mississippi River. 

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