The Morganza spillway as seen by the NASA Earth Observing satellite (NASA Earth Observatory/EO-1 Team)

Here’s NASA’s (Rob Gutro’s) description of the above image:

“This true color image of the Morganza Spillway located 45 miles northwest of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was captured by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) instrument on NASA’s Earth Observing (EO-1) satellite on May 15, 2011.”

“According to, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened up two of the 125 floodgates on May 14, and two more floodgates on May 15 to relieve the floodwaters on the Mississippi River (located to the far right). The spillway channels water from the Mississippi into the Atchafalaya River basin and will alleviate flooding in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, but flood homes, farms, a wildlife refuge and a small oil refinery.”