New Orleans Faces Water Crisis: Mayor Declares Emergency!

The mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, has signed an emergency statement because salt water is getting into the Mississippi River. This could affect the water supply in the area, officials say.

Cantrell wrote on X, which used to be called Twitter, “We will continue to work with our partners locally and state-wide as we closely monitor this situation,”

Officials said that weather predictions show that the river’s flow will drop to levels that have never been seen before in the next few weeks. So, salty water from the Gulf of Mexico is making its way upstream into Louisiana.

“Plaquemines Parish has been affected by this issue since June. Drought conditions have only gotten worse since that time, which means additional communities along the Mississippi River could be impacted,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement Friday.

Local officials say that saltwater getting into the Boothville Water Treatment Plant intake in Plaquemines Parish is affecting the drinking water supply for people and companies from Empire to Venice in southeastern Louisiana.

In July, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built an underwater barrier sill to make a fake basin that will help stop saltwater from getting in. This week, the height of the sill was passed by saltwater that came from upstream.

Edwards said that soon, more work will start to stop the saltwater inflow from getting worse. Officials will start making the current sill bigger the week after next. This will delay the saltwater intrusion by another 10 to 15 days, they say.

Orleans Water Crisis

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The river’s water level is supposed to keep going down, and there won’t be much rain to make things better. Local, state, and federal officials are trying to figure out what can be done to protect water systems and water intake points.

“Unfortunately, without any relief from the dry weather we are starting to see the saltwater intrusion creep further up the river despite efforts to mitigate the problems by the Army Corps of Engineers,” Edwards said.

“Most importantly, this is not a time to panic or listen to misinformation,” he added. “We have been through this situation before in 1988, and we are monitoring this situation very closely and applying the lessons learned. It is extremely important for the public to stay informed and only rely on credible sources for updates during this event.”

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