JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway west of New Orleans on Friday to help ease flooding concerns in and around the city of New Orleans. Opening the spillway lets water from the Mississippi River flow east through low-lying areas that are usually dry and into Lake Pontchartrain and, eventually, into the Gulf of Mexico.
Amtrak’s “City of New Orleans” passes through that area daily on its route to and from Chicago, but the company is having to adjust its schedule while the spillway is open.
“Canadian National is prohibiting movement of passenger trains over the Bonnet Carre Spillway due to a planned Corps of Engineers release of water from the Mississippi River,” said Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods. She says southbound trains will terminate in Jackson, where passengers will be transferred to buses to continue their journey. Northbound passengers needing to board south of Jackson will likewise be bused to the Jackson station.
Woods says one southbound bus, Number 3159, will offer express service from Jackson to New Orleans. Bus Number 3259 will make stops in Hazlehurst, Brookhaven, McComb and Hammond. For northbound passengers, Bus Number 3158 will offer express service from New Orleans to Jackson. Bus Number 3258 will make stops in Hammond, McComb, Brookhaven and Hazlehurst.
Regular train service is expected to resume once the water levels are lower and the tracks are back open to regular rail traffic.