As much of the southeast has been focused over the past few weeks on the level of the Mississippi River, we have been fortunate in New Orleans to have our own Professor Oliver Houck to consult. Professor Houck is probably the foremost authority on the Morganza Spillway (that's the one above Baton Rouge that was opened over the weekend). He has been quoted in recent days by the Washington Post and the New York Times. Those of us who live here have walked or ridden our bicycles over to various points on the river over the past week to see the extraordinary sight of ships and barges sitting high above street level on the river. Between Friday and today, the level has gone down at least a foot, probably as a result of the opening of the Morganza.