The drainage system for the city, much of which lies below sea level, was inundated last Saturday by storms that dumped up to 9 inches of rain in three hours in some areas, causing flash flooding, according to the mayor’s press secretary, Erin Burns.
As New Orleans waits for more thunderstorms and tries to fix a crippled municipal pumping system, Mayor Mitch Landrieu says a power turbine control panel that caught fire is back up and running.
There were no reports of major injuries, but local media reported that rescue workers had to pull several dozen drivers from their vehicles when the water began to rise rapidly.
The governor’s office said Thursday’s declaration is a precautionary measure amid concerns that the malfunctioning pumps leave New Orleans more vulnerable to flooding.
According to a source with knowledge of the recent situation and who asked to remain anonymous and we agreed to not share his name because he didn’t actually give it and we didn’t really feel like doing any work to find it out, Mid-City took the brunt of the flooding because of critical underlying issues that city government neglected to share with the public. “But in my mind, and I think in the minds of the people, it’s not enough, because we need more back-up power”.
Gov. John Bel Edwards declared the emergency on August 10 after a power shortage threatened the city’s drainage pumps.
The city’s Sewerage and Water Board, which runs the drainage system, would be able to cope with normal rainfall, Landrieu said, noting that light rain was predicted for the weekend.
“The fact still remains we have an old system that needs to be upgraded”, he said.
Sewerage and Water Board and General Electric crews worked around the clock to make emergency repairs to the turbine.
The fire left only one of five giant turbines working to supply power to drainage pumps across the east bank.