The Army Corps of Engineers opened the Morganza Spillway near Baton Rouge, Louisiana at 3 p.m. Saturday, sending water from the Mississippi River at 10,000 cubic feet per second. Eventually enough bays will be opened to release water at 125,000 cubic feet per second. The diversion is meant to relieve pressure on the levee system in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The spillway will likely remain open for weeks, in order to lower the flow rate downstream. Meanwhile, water from the spillway will flood many areas as it diverts to the Atchafalaya River Basin. There are 2,500 people in the direct path of the spillway and around 22,500 could be threatened by its waters. Governor Bobby Jindal urged remaining residents to evacuate those areas as quickly as possible.