Repairs to damaged turbine appear to be holding, but city remains vulnerable

August 12, 2017 - 9:49 am
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A week after a massive amount of rain inundated New Orleans, work continues to restore the city's pumping system and get it fully operational. 

Eight more generators are expected to arrive Saturday to help power the city's pumps as the S&WB struggles to bring the damaged turbine back online.

Currently, the turbine is not able to run at full capacity, so the city remains at risk for flooding. Testing on the turbine, which was damaged by fire, began late Thursday night.

Sewerage and Water Board and General Electric crews have 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. Even with a second turbine coming back to life, Mayor Landrieu said the city remained in a state of crisis.

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.”

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.

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