New Orleans mayoral candidates discuss strategies to fix flooding problem

Patrice Gainsbourg
Agosto 13, 2017

The city has reminded residents to stay vigilant and keep cars on higher ground, as Landrieu emphasized that the drainage pump power capacity still is not sufficient in the event of heavy rains or major storm.

The city scrambled to fix fire-damaged equipment at a power plant and shore up its drainage system, less than a week after a flash flood from torrential rain overwhelmed the city's pumping system and inundated many neighborhoods.

Residents on the East Bank of Orleans Parish are advised to be on high alert after a fire greatly diminished the city's capacity to drain storm water from the streets. Sewerage and Water Board officials revealed this week that three of them - plus several pumps - were not working during the recent flooding.

"As citizens we need to hold people more accountable", said Douglas.

The mayor said additional 3rd party technical expertise has been brought in to assess the situation.

103 of the city's 120 pumps are operating. He has tapped five contractors to assess the remaining 17 for emergency fix.

As of Sunday, two of the six turbines - the pieces of equipment used to power the pumps - are operational, he said. A dozen more generators are expected to arrive on Saturday and will remain "throughout Hurricane Season".

But until all the generators are set up or the other turbines are online, which could take several weeks, New Orleans remains "at risk", Landrieu said.

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And McBride says a review of operator logs, shows, that pumps at station 12, which services Lakeview, didn't go on until almost 9 p.m. last Saturday, seven hours after the rain began falling. Local declarations are the first step toward getting a federal emergency declaration, which, according to a press release from the City of New Orleans, would allow the feds to assist local efforts - should that be necessary.

That same night, Cedric Grant, the executive director of the Sewerage and Water Board assured everyone that the pumps were working to full capacity and he dismissed claims from the public that a key pumping station in Lakeview wasn't working.

"We do NOT have what we need (right now) in the event of a major rain event".

As the candidates discuss a major new campaign issue, we learn more about what was, and wasn't working during last week's flood, at the 17th Street Canal pumping station, which services Orleans and Jefferson.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu insisted City Hall's priorities are in order during an inte...

"We have to have a commission of citizens to do oversite", said Scurlock.

"The buck ultimately stops with me", said Landrieu. "I own it, I accept it and I am taking responsibility to fix it".

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