The Super Boat International race slated for Kenner, Louisiana, later this month has been postponed because of poor water conditions on Lake Pontchartrain from high water flows on the Mississippi River, officials said.
The City of Kenner and SBI decided to postpone June 21-23 race because of debris and sediment in the lake. The forecast for later in the month looks even worse as the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers continue to deal with rising water levels in the Mississippi River.
Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway, which has sent muck and debris into Lake Pontchartrain. The spillway was opened for a second time this year, a first for the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Since the structure was built in 1931, it had been opened just 13 times, the Army Corp of Engineers said.
“With the debris and sediment in Lake Pontchartrain, it’s a safety issue for the boats,” said Chad Pitfield, director of Parks & Recreation for the City of Kenner. “It was a joint decision. We had been speaking with (SBI) for the last couple of weeks.”
SBI spokeswoman Susy Ferrer said a new date for the race will be made in consultation with City of Kenner officials.
“We were very much looking forward to the race this month,” Ferrer said. “Until we get notification back from the city, we won’t have a timeframe when we can race.”
SBI has no other regular-season races scheduled for 2019, according to their website. The schedule has the Key West World Championships in November but the City of Key West last month awarded the rights to Race World Offshore to produce the event. Ferrer declined to discuss SBI’s remaining schedule.
The region got some good news Thursday when the Army Corp of Engineers announced it won’t have to open the Morganza Spillway to relieve further pressure on the levies. If the spillway was opened, the water release into the Atchafalaya Basin would have flooded farmland and potentially some homes.
Snow melt and unprecedented storms in the Midwest led to the high river flows, which has caused flooding in Missouri and Iowa.