Sipa USA

Mayor Landrieu says he has not reviewed logs showing pumps off for hours during flood event

Says repairs to turbine are holding, but city remains vulnerable

August 12, 2017 - 11:22 am
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New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landreiu says he has not seen some S&WB logs that show pumps were not operational during last Saturday's massive rain and flooding event,

Those logs indicate that half of the major pumps in stations 2, 3 and 7 in Treme, the 7th Ward and City Park and Lakeview were off for hours-long stretches last Saturday.

"I have not looked at the logs, personally," said Landrieu. "I think the after action report is going to demonstrate what the facts are. The logs will say what they say. And I'm sure that the after action report is going to reveal things that we did not know or things that were not accurate at the time. That wouldn't surprise me at all."

The logs also largely counter claims from city and S&WB leaders that all pump stations were manned and turned on, despite complaints from furious residents who said they saw no water moving toward drains as streets that rarely flood filled up with as much as 10 inches of water.

Those pump station logs were obtained through a public-records request by Matt McBride, a mechanical engineer and the author of fixthepumps.blogspot.com. 

Landrieu and S&WB officials have since admitted that claims that the system was working at full capacity were false. 

Today, Mayor Landrieu provide additional updates on the diminished pumping capacities and next steps for New Orleans.

The repair to a damaged turbine at the S&WB's Claiborne Avenue facility has been made successfully as of last night.

However, the system's capacity to drain water from the street is still diminished. The turbine is only operating at half power at this time. 

Currently the city has 103 out of 120 pumps operational.The mayor said Saturday that, "Once we get through this crisis...the fact still remains, we have an old system that needs to be upgraded."

Most of the 26 generators that the city ordered have already been delivered, but the city has not said when they'll be installed. They'll remain in the city for the rest of hurricane season.

Those that have been delivered are on site at the city’s main power station for pumps for most of the east bank.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu said on Friday that it could take up to 24 hours to bring the power-generating turbine back to full capacity. 

“The report as of now is that it’s doing well,” Landrieu said. “We remain at risk if a major storm comes until we get additional turbines back up, which we expect by the end of this month.”

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