NEW ORLEANS - The Morganza and Bonnet Carre spillways are doing their job.
So far, they have spared Baton Rouge and New Orleans the widespread flooding seen in some communities upriver along the historically high Mississippi.
The massive diversion of water into Atchafalaya and Lake Pontchartrain basins has eased the pressure on local levees.
Chris Brantly, project manager at the Bonnet Carre says the flow of the river has now stabilized.
"We've been able to demonstrate with the effect of the spillway, we've been able to keep the stage in New Orleans at about 17 feet at the Carrollton gauge or just a little bit below that," said Brantley. "That is pretty much a direct effect of the spillway."
The Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell uses information from the U.S. Geological Survey, Army Corps of Engineers and National Weather Service to predict how high the river will rise.
Hydrologist Jeff Graschel says the Mississippi has stopped rising here, but it's expected to take time for the river to recede.
"We can probably say that areas from Baton Rouge through New Orleans to maintain the same levels that we're currently at now, at least for the next two and half weeks," said Graschel.
Graschel says it also appears that flooding won't be as dramatic in the Atchafalaya floodway.
"The numbers that we projected from Butte Larose through Morgan City were going to be less because instead of using 50 percent of the Morganza, now it looks like closer to 20 percent utilization."
The New Orleans area has remained relatively dry during this high water event. According to the National Weather Service this is one example of how drought conditions can be beneficial to this region.
"Mother Nature has been kind to us and not allowing us to get more rain in those areas so that we wouldn't have as much on the Red River or on the Ouachita systems that could have potentially caused more water to be used and put through the Morganza Spillway," said Grashcel.
Experts say it is too soon to say New Orleans dodged a bullet.
Some parts of the river north of the city are still rising and the river itself is still at a very dangerous level.