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Mississippi River Crests: Photo Gallery

Residents watch as water rushes through the opened bays on the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Norco, La., on Monday, May 9.

The Bonnet Carre Spillway in Louisiana was built by the Army Corps of Engineers in response to the great flood of 1927. Hundreds of people gathered on the riverbank to watch as workers used cranes to remove the spillway's wooden barriers to allow the water to flow through.

The spillway is located about 30 miles upriver from New Orleans. Its main purpose is to divert water from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain.

Monday marked the 10th time the spillway has been opened since the structure was completed in 1931. It was last opened during the spring of 2008.

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