NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Army Corps of Engineers has opened a 17th bay at the Morganza spillway to divert more water from the Mississippi River and ease pressure on the levee systems downriver.

Sixteen of 125 bays already were open before the corps opened another one Wednesday upriver from Baton Rouge. The Morganza is now sending water from the Mississippi River into the swampy spillway and on to the Atchafalaya River at a rate of 114,000 cubic feet per second.

Farther south at the Bonnet Carre spillway upriver from New Orleans, the corps said 330 of 350 bays were open flowing water at a rate of 316,000 cubic feet per second toward Lake Pontchartrain, unchanged from Tuesday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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