City officials give update on pumping capacity in New Orleans

Frederick Owens
August 12, 2017

The lack of communication left drivers stranded without details on which areas to avoid, and unveiled more problems in how New Orleans handles weather-related disasters, more than a decade after Hurricane Katrina. The turbine generates the electricity that runs most of the pumps on the east bank, and Landrieu said it would be gradually tied into the drainage system's power supply throughout the day.

It does not affect the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans East, or Algiers.

A damaged turbine that contributed to flooding in New Orleans should be working again later on Friday, but more back-up power is needed and dozens of extra generators are being brought in for the rest of the hurricane season, the mayor said on Friday.

City leaders are also pushing the Sewerage and Water Board to fix the broken pumps and the three non-working turbines as soon as possible.

Last night, a fourth generator caught fire and is inoperable, leaving just one working generator.

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Heavy rain on Saturday led to flooding in many parts of New Orleans.

The Orleans Parish School Board said in a statement Thursday that schools are closed Thursday "out of abundance of caution".

Residents in the affected areas are encouraged to "move their vehicles to higher ground, take necessary actions to protect personal property, and stay off of roadways during rainstorms unless an emergency makes it absolutely necessary to do so". Even with a second turbine coming back to life, Mayor Landrieu said the city remained in a state of crisis.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has called for an independent report on pumping issues, but says fixing things isn't going to be easy. 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. "But in my mind, and I think in the minds of the people, it's not enough, because we need more back-up power".

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