May 25, 2011 5:05 PM by Chris Welty
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The city of New Orleans has launched a charity drive to aid victims of Mississippi River flooding.
The "NOLA Pay it Forward" fund, announced by Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Wednesday, will include help for those affected by the opening of the Morganza spillway gates, which eased the flood threat for heavily populated New Orleans and Baton Rouge but heightened it along much of the Atchafalaya River basin.
The Atchafalaya is still rising at Morgan City, where the river is expected to crest on Monday. Officials there and in neighboring Terrebonne Parish, say it looks as though backwater flooding won't be as bad as once thought. They are crediting man-made efforts, including levee fortifications, together with a drought that has enabled the land to soak up more water.