By Associated Press - Thursday, May 30, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump has signed a federal disaster declaration for Louisiana just before the opening of the Morganza Spillway, which could flood the Atchafalaya Basin and about 25,000 acres of farmland.

News outlets report the spillway will be opened for the third time in its 46-year history Sunday and release between 9,000 and 150,000 cubic feet of water per second. A Wednesday tweet by Gov. John Bel Edwards thanked Trump for the declaration, which includes protective measures such as sandbags and direct federal assistance for some parishes.

The water in the spillway has been running high for several days, causing officials to prepare for possible backwater flooding as far north as St. Landry Parish. Edwards says a barge has been submerged in Bayou Chene to reduce possible backwater flooding.

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