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Rising Waters Spark Concern For New Orleans 5150 Race

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Pollution, water quality in Lake Pontchartrain a concern as the 5150 New Orleans race nears amid massive flooding in the south.

NEW ORLEANS — The 5150 Olympic Distance Triathlon race is Sunday and many athletes are worried about the safety of Lake Pontchartrain.

The concern comes after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway earlier this week. The spillway opening aims to slow the flow of water down the swelling Mississippi River by diverting it into the lake.

Trey Stolz has run races for years and wonders whether the race will be canceled.

He said the big concern is the pollution and water quality with the spillway open. He wonders what to expect.

Triathlon coaches Jennifer Novak and Rick Montgomery of Kona Fitness said they have heard some athletes worry about snakes or dead fish in the water. But they said they are not worried — they said race organizers wouldn’t put the athletes at risk in any way.

Medical Expert Dr. Brobson Lutz said the water should be fine for the race. He said people are more likely to get knocked in the head in New Orleans than get sick from the lake’s water.

Read more: WDSU.com