brand new Orleans braces for brand new flooding as the item copes with power outages, failed pumping system

Heather Wright is usually a brand new Orleans native, so she knows that will flooding is usually a part of life from the city. brand new Orleans lies up to 10 feet below sea level in addition to is usually mostly surrounded by water.

“I’ve lived in brand new Orleans all my life, so water is usually in my DNA,” Wright said Friday. “I survived Hurricane Katrina in addition to lived through that will, nevertheless This specific was the highest I’ve ever seen the water get since that will time.”

By “This specific” she referred to flooding unleashed last Saturday after a heavy rainstorm overwhelmed the city’s compromised pumping system, in addition to with many streets still flooded, city residents are bracing as a brand new round of heavy rain is usually expected This specific weekend.

Officials said This specific week that will at least 14 of 0 drainage pumps located throughout the city were out of service during last weekend’s storm because of power shortages in addition to because of a lack of basic maintenance.

“Some parts of our system did not operate as they should have, which is usually disappointing because the item contradicts information that will I was given to provide to the public. Our staff was not forthright, which is usually unacceptable,” said Cedric Grant, executive director of brand new Orleans Sewerage in addition to Water Board.

Grant on Tuesday said that will, contrary to an earlier statement he made after the storm, the pumping system was not operating at its maximum capacity. He also acknowledged that will there is usually “a lack of confidence through the public from the system’s abilities.”

Among the residents affected was Pattye Brignac, 62, who said water levels rose to 3 feet in her neighborhood. During the storm, her cat drowned in addition to her car was damaged by water.

“The water just stood there for six hours,” she said Friday. “We’re still cleaning up our street.”

Brignac didn’t learn until a few days after Saturday’s flood that will some drainage pumps had been offline.

“I’m disappointed with city officials, in addition to I believe they should be held accountable,” she said. “There’s no excuse for not realizing that will their equipment was not working.”

In anticipation of the coming storm, Birgnac said she in addition to her neighbors had been cleaning debris through a storm drain.

“We’re digging out buckets of mud in addition to some other people on our block are doing the same thing,” she said.

Many residents still cleaning up debris after last week’s flood were shocked a second time Thursday morning when they received an emergency text message warning them that will the city’s drainage pumps were threatened again after a fire at a power plant damaged power for the city’s network of drainage pumps.

The controversy has caused conflicts between Mayor Mitch Landrieu in addition to city officials. Grant announced Tuesday that will he would likely retire from the fall.

With forecasters predicting a 60% chance of rain in addition to thunderstorms through the weekend, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in brand new Orleans, which would likely allow the federal government to financially assist the city to recover through disaster under certain circumstances.

Officials closed schools for the week in addition to urged residents to move their vehicles to higher ground in addition to to stay off roadways during rainstorms.

T.J. Pitre, 36, in addition to his wife said they had a plan in case they needed to evacuate This specific weekend.

“We have food in addition to water bottles that will I keep in my top shelf in my closet,” he said. “My wife is usually genuinely not bad at being on top of these things. We have two cats in addition to she has all of their documents ready to go as well.”

Officials said Sewerage in addition to Water Board electricians in addition to mechanics were working around the clock to repair the city’s drainage pumps in addition to secure backup power.

For some residents, the city’s failure in ensuring its pumping systems were working at capacity resurfaced memories of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

“This specific is usually bringing back Katrina memories,” Wright said. “I’m remembering not to take things for granted, like getting in my car. the item’s affecting my quality of life.”

She added, “Had our pumps been working, I think we would likely have still had flooding, nevertheless not to the extent that will we did.”

On Friday, Landrieu said that will a turbine damaged by the power plant fire had been repaired in addition to would likely be working gradually throughout the days to come. He said the city had also ordered 26 generators as backup sources of power in addition to that will pumping stations in Algiers, brand new Orleans East in addition to the Lower Ninth Ward were not affected because they have diesel generators.

nevertheless for some residents, the damage through last week’s flood has placed doubt about the city’s abilities as the threat of another storm looms ahead.

“This specific is usually utter disregard for people who live here,” Wright said. “The city needs to get the item right in addition to people need to be held accountable.”

melissa.etehad@latimes.com

Follow me on Twitter @melissaetehad

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