The Latest: Tuesday likely reopening for Louisiana spillway

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on high Mississippi River (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

The Army Corps of Engineers says it wants to open a historic Mississippi River flood control channel above New Orleans on Tuesday for an unprecedented second time in one year.

That’s less than five weeks after the Bonnet Carré Spillway was closed on April 11.

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The Mississippi River drains 41 percent of the U.S. mainland, and Corps officials say the past 12 months have been among the wettest on record. Floods across the Midwest have caused billions of dollars of damage to homes, farms and other businesses.

The New Orleans District has asked the Corps’ Mississippi Valley Division for authorization to open the spillway again.

It is opened to relieve stress on New Orleans levees when the Mississippi flows at 1.25 million cubic feet (35,400 cubic meters) per second.

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1:30 p.m.

The Army Corps of Engineers’ New Orleans office is asking to do something unprecedented: open a historic flood control structure above New Orleans for the second time in one year.

This comes as floods across the Midwest have caused billions of dollars of damage to homes, farms and other businesses.

The National Weather Service says continued rains in the Midwest and Ohio Valley and floodwaters from the upper Mississippi River are heading down the Mississippi. In addition, storms are expected to dump 5 to 10 inches (13 to 25 centimeters) of rain in Louisiana and Arkansas.

Corps spokesman Matt Roe says the New Orleans office is asking the Corps’ Mississippi Valley Division for authority to reopen the Bonnet Carré (BAHN-ee KEHR-ee) spillway to relieve stress on New Orleans levees. The agency has scheduled a Thursday afternoon news conference.

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