Louisiana Floodgates Open for 1st Time in 38 Years
Move diverts water from the inflated Mississippi
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2011 7:19 PM CDT
Residents walk along railroad tracks on their way to attempt to catch a glimpse as water is released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Morganza Spillway May 14, 2011 in Morganza, Louisiana. The...   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Water from the inflated Mississippi River gushed through a floodgate today for the first time in nearly four decades and headed toward thousands of homes and farmland in the Cajun countryside, threatening to slowly submerge the land under water up to 25 feet deep. As the gate was raised, the river poured out like a waterfall, at times spraying six feet into the air. Fish jumped or were hurled through the white froth and within 30 minutes, 100 acres of what was dry land was under about a foot of water.

The water will flow 20 miles south into the Atchafalaya Basin. From there it will roll on to Morgan City, an oil-and-seafood hub and a community of 12,000, and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico. The opening of the Morganza spillway diverted water from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and the numerous oil refineries and chemical plants along the lower reaches of the Mississippi. Shifting the water away from the cities eased the strain on levees and thwarted flooding in New Orleans that could have been much worse than Hurricane Katrina.

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May 15, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
fema and the government need to pay for the flooding and destroying crops and homes that they are flooding, so some other place dose not get flooded and they have to pay them! it just like the government to flood some else so the dont have to pay where the water would flood all on its own. if you flood it you got to pay for it, give the people there money back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!