The 2019 Kenner Super Boat Grand Prix that was scheduled to take place June 21-23 is being postponed until further notice, due to the impact of rising waters of the Mississippi River on Lake Pontchartrain.
The Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday that it will open a spillway this Sunday to divert part of the flow of the Mississippi River into the Atchafalaya Basin to reduce the chance of levees being overtopped in Baton Rouge. Additionally, for a historic second time this year, the Bonnet Carre Spillway has been opened and is currently diverting water from the Mississippi River directly into Lake Pontchartrain. This means that the race —which was scheduled to take place on Lake Pontchartrain—will need to be rescheduled for a later date.
“We have been looking forward to this race and to showcasing the professionalism of our race teams and we want everything to be just right so that it can be a spectacular event,” says John Carbonell, president of Super Boat International. “We are in daily contact with the City of Kenner, including with Mayor Ben Zahn and his staff, who are all keeping a close eye on this situation which has been ongoing over the past few months. We hope to be announcing the new Kenner dates as soon as possible.”
Super Boat International and The City of Kenner have decided that the race cannot take place in June, due to serious safety concerns.
Speaking for the city, Chad M. Pitfield, Director of Kenner’s Parks and Recreation Department, says, “The Mississipi River water is high, and there is a huge amount of sediment and debris currently entering Lake Pontchartrain. It’s simply not safe to run the boats,” says Pitfield. “There’s floating driftwood and all kinds of debris that we normally don’t see in Lake Pontchartrain coming from the Mississippi River.”
Super Boat International will make an announcement as soon as the water situation is cleared and the best reschedule date can be confirmed with the City of Kenner.