Rare opening of Louisiana spillway attracts crowds

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Rare Opening of Louisiana Spillway Attracts Crowds

(Reuters) -- Hundreds gathered at St. Charles Parish in Louisiana to watch the rare opening of the Bonnet Care Spillway on Sunday (January 10).

READ MORE: 7 dead as Winter Storm Hera drops swath of snow

The Army Corp of Engineers opened 20 bays of the spillway to reduce the level of the Mississippi River in New Orleans, sending hundreds of thousands of gallons of water towards Lake Pontchartrain.

See more from the scene:

7 PHOTOS
Louisiana spillway attracts crowd
See Gallery
Rare opening of Louisiana spillway attracts crowds
In this aerial photograph, gates of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, located about 11 miles upriver from New Orleans, are seen being opened along the Mississippi River by U.S. Army Corps of Engineer workers in St. Charles parish, La., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. The Corps opened the spillway Sunday morning to divert river water into Lake Pontchartrain. The opening will help keep the volume of Mississippi River flows at New Orleans from exceeding 1.25 million cubic feet per second: enough to fill the Superdome in a minute and 40 seconds. The Bonnet Carre has been opened 10 times, most recently during the record floods of 2011.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
In this aerial photograph, gates of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, located about 11 miles upriver from New Orleans, are being opened along the Mississippi River by U.S. Army Corps of Engineer workers in St. Charles parish, La., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. The Corps opened the spillway Sunday morning to divert river water into Lake Pontchartrain. The opening will help keep the volume of Mississippi River flows at New Orleans from exceeding 1.25 million cubic feet per second: enough to fill the Superdome in a minute and 40 seconds. The Bonnet Carre has been opened 10 times, most recently during the record floods of 2011.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
In this aerial photograph, gates of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, located about 11 miles upriver from New Orleans, are seen being opened along the Mississippi River by U.S. Army Corps of Engineer workers in St. Charles parish, La., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. The Corps opened the spillway Sunday morning to divert river water into Lake Pontchartrain. The opening will help keep the volume of Mississippi River flows at New Orleans from exceeding 1.25 million cubic feet per second: enough to fill the Superdome in a minute and 40 seconds. The Bonnet Carre has been opened 10 times, most recently during the record floods of 2011.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
In this aerial photograph, gates of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, located about 11 miles upriver from New Orleans, are being opened along the Mississippi River by U.S. Army Corps of Engineer workers in St. Charles parish, La., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. The Corps opened the spillway Sunday morning to divert river water into Lake Pontchartrain. The opening will help keep the volume of Mississippi River flows at New Orleans from exceeding 1.25 million cubic feet per second: enough to fill the Superdome in a minute and 40 seconds. The Bonnet Carre has been opened 10 times, most recently during the record floods of 2011.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
In this aerial photograph, gates of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, located about 11 miles upriver from New Orleans, are being opened along the Mississippi River by U.S. Army Corps of Engineer workers in St. Charles parish, La., Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. The Corps opened the spillway Sunday morning to divert river water into Lake Pontchartrain. The opening will help keep the volume of Mississippi River flows at New Orleans from exceeding 1.25 million cubic feet per second: enough to fill the Superdome in a minute and 40 seconds. The Bonnet Carre has been opened 10 times, most recently during the record floods of 2011.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Workers with the U.S. Army Corps of engineers drain water from the Mississippi River, left, into the Bonnet Carre Spillway Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Norco. The Mississippi River water levels are rising because of heavy December rain in the Midwest. The opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway helps relieve pressure on New Orleans-area levees by making sure the water doesnât flow faster than 1.25 million cubic feet per second through the city. (Scott Threlkeld/The Advocate via AP, Pool)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Corps officials said the procedure was to prevent the flow of water in New Orleans from exceeding 1.25 million cubic feet per second.

Local media said the official flood level for New Orleans is 17 feet and that the river was expected to reach 16.4 feet on Sunday morning, citing the National Weather Service's Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center.

More from AOL.com:
New poll paints telling picture for 2016 candidates
Singer posts tragic update on 'dying wife' in final days
21 lottery winners who blew through all of their money

Read Full Story

From Our Partners