ST. MARTIN, Miss. (WLOX) - Crews started closing the Bonnet Carré Spillway Monday, and it should be fully closed by this weekend. We learned that at a community forum Tuesday at St. Martin Community Center, where nearly two dozen concerned citizens attended, and asked questions about the openings and the status of the Gulf Coast.
Representatives from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Marine Resources and the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Lab served as the panel.
Once the spillway is completely closed, the panel estimates it could take two to six weeks for coastal water to return back to normal. Tourism was also a big topic.
“I have worked in the casino business for around 10 years now. I do know for a fact that if our tourism industry is affected, it affects me and everybody I’ve ever worked with," said one concerned citizen. “What are they ready to do to help secure those waters and make sure that as this continues, and it’s going to continue, that we don’t have 118 days of water just continually going into the Mississippi Sound and potentially destroying our economy.”
The spillway was opened 75 days ago to control flooding along the Mississippi River.