Skip to comments.New Orleans flood, pumps debacle: Recap of new information released Thursday
Posted on 08/10/2017 10:42:46 AM PDT by abb
The fallout from last weekend's New Orleans flash flood continued Thursday.
A state of emergency has been declared for Orleans Parish as drainage complications persist with the possibility of heavy rain Thursday and Friday.
Here's a rundown of the new information unveiled so far Thursday...
Fire damages turbine that powers pumps
Much of New Orleans is at high risk of flooding Thursday and Friday because a fire overnight damaged the power source that runs most of the citys pumps, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said early Thursday.
The fire damaged one of five ancient turbines that power the Sewerage & Water Boards system of pumps as well as the water treatment plant. Three of the turbines were already offline for repairs, Landrieu said, leaving the city with one working turbine.
Much of New Orleans is at high risk of flooding during the next 24 to 48 hours because a fire overnight damaged the power source that runs most of the citys pumps, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said early Thursday.
Emergency declaration in Orleans Parish
A declaration of emergency has been signed for the New Orleans area after a fire at a Sewerage and Water Board plant has hindered the area's ability to battle floods, said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards at a mid-day press conference.
The city's public and Catholic schools will also be closed Friday.
Governor signs declaration of emergency for New Orleans area after flooding, turbine fire
A declaration of emergency has been signed for the New Orleans area after a fire at a Sewera Drama at Sewerage and Water Board grows
The number of pumps that were out of service in Saturday's flooding was 16, not 14 as previously reported, officials revealed at an emergency meeting of the Sewerage & Water Board Thursday morning.
The new details likely had little impact on the flooding, but officials expressed frustration at the constantly changing set of facts the public has been provided about the floods, which inundated much of Mid-City, Lakeview and other parts of town.
Landrieu revealed at the meeting that he had asked for the resignation of Cedric Grant, the S&WB's executive director, because of the misinformation transmitted to the public. Grant announced his resignation Tuesday. Landrieu also called publicly on Tuesday for the firing of Joe Becker, the S&WB's general superintendent, and Lisa Martin, the communications director.
Becker and Martin have both since submitted their resignations, Grant announced.
The number of pumps that were out of service in Saturday's flooding was 16, not 14 as previo Call for help from private sector by mayor
Landrieu's administration is looking to bring in a private company to temporarily run the Sewerage & Water Board in the aftermath of the growing scandal over the agency's handling of Saturday's floods.
Landrieu spokesman Tyronne Walker said the administration is attempting to arrange for a private company to come in "as a temporary arrangement, for a finite time frame to be determined to allow for the stabilization of the system."
Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration is looking to bring in a private company to temporaril Heavy rain in the forecast
Scattered showers and thunderstorms are likely in New Orleans on Thursday and Friday, with heavy rain possible at times.
On Thursday, storms are likely to occur mainly after noon. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent, with rainfall amounts of a quarter to a half of an inch possible, according to the National Weather Service. Some of the rain could be heavy at times, according to WWL-TV meteorologists.
The potential for rain will continue into Friday, with showers and thunderstorms again likely in the afternoon, according to the Weather Service.
Any half-way qualified French Quarter or bayou voodoo priest or priestess, hoodoo witch or wizard, could have told Mitch Landrieu that bad things happen to those who desecrate memorials to the dead. It ain’t over yet.
Useless govt oversight
NoLa can’t get its act together
Luck ain’t holding.
Figures---Landrieu is the poster boy for the Democrat agenda. And remember his sister, Mary, lost her Senate seat in a reelection b/c she blathered about her "stupid conservative constituency" and that she had to "talk down to them" ....b/c they didn't understand her "liberal brilliance" in DC.
They thought they “lucked out” in 2005, too.
NO gonna flood.
It is the will of landreiu.
It’s Now An Emergency In New Orleans, So Let The No-Bid Contracts Begin!
by Scott McKay
Now that Mitch Landrieu and his clownshow cronies have officially destroyed the pumping system in New Orleans by burning up the motor on the last functional power turbine left on the citys East Bank of the Mississippi, leaving the Big Easy wide open to catastrophic flooding at the next major rain storm because there is no reliable power source for most of the citys pumps, its time to push the panic button and declare an emergency.
Which Gov. John Bel Edwards has now done.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency Thursday (Aug. 10) as a precautionary measure, in the event that the state has to help with flooding in New Orleans over the next few days.
If we get the heavier expected rainfall, time will be of the essence, Edwards said at a press conference with Mayor Mitch Landrieu Thursday morning. We are working well together. Obviously this is a serious situation, but it is not something to be panicked about.
The emergency declaration is retroactive. It runs from Aug. 5 when the first round of flooding started this past weekend to Sept. 3. The governor can terminate the order early if he wants.
Edwards and the state government are providing 14 2-megawatt generators to the city that will stay in New Orleans for the remainder of hurricane season. The Louisiana National Guard could also assist with flood respond if that becomes necessary. Landrieu has also declared a state of emergency in New Orleans, which allows city government to circumvent some regulations to respond more quickly to a disaster.
That last bit is the important part the main regulations which can be circumvented in the case of an emergency involve the requirement for the city to issue RFPs and take bids. Instead, Landrieu and Edwards, if he wants in on the deal can let no-bid contracts to make repairs to the citys pumping system.
One such contract might go to a French firm.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called Thursday (Aug. 10) for a private, third-party company to run the beleaguered Sewerage & Water Board, expressing anger and frustration at thes agencys mishandling of the Aug. 5 flood and its aftermath.
Board members immediately approved Landrieus request. The company will also conduct an internal investigation of what went wrong.
I cant even begin to tell you how extremely frustrated and angry I am at the inability of the Sewerage & Water Board to communicate clearly and to give accurate information to the public even under the most difficult circumstances so the people of New Orleans can do what they can to protect themselves, Landrieu said.
S&WB officials said they didnt know what company would be hired, although an obvious choice may be Veolia, a French conglomerate that is already managing the boards wastewater treatment plants.
Hes cashiered most of the Sewerage and Water Boards top executive staff, which essentially makes his choice to take over the citys pump system impossible to challenge or question.
By the way, heres an example of Veolias work product in dealing with municipal water systems
FLINT, MI An engineering firm targeted by the attorney generals water crisis lawsuit claims city leaders told it to exclude work on lead and copper issues.
Veolia North America issued a statement Thursday, June 23, claiming city officials told them not to focus on issues that would eventually thrust the city into the national spotlight.
Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Wednesday that his office filed a lawsuit in Genesee Circuit Court against Veolia and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, which were hired to conduct engineering studies on the citys water system.
Veolia, in its Thursday statement, said the accusations are baseless, entirely unfounded and appears to be intended to distract from the troubling and disturbing realities that have emerged as a result of this tragedy.
In fact, when Veolia raised potential lead and copper issues, city officials and representatives told us to exclude it from our scope of work because the city and the EPA were just beginning to conduct lead and copper testing, the companys statement said.
City spokeswoman Kristin Moore declined to address Veolias accusations, adding the city is eager to learn what is decided in court.
Schuettes lawsuit accuses Veolia and LAN of professional negligence and public nuisance. Veolia is also accused of fraud.
Some of us would think bringing in the contractor fresh off the Flint water supply debacle might not be all that great an idea. But we dont live in New Orleans after all, one can almost taste the future, when pressure builds for a federal bailout of the New Orleans pump system after what the Democrat Party has done to it, just like that party demanded after theyd destroyed the water supply in Flint. Why not use the same contractor?
Alls fair in an emergency, after all.
Not personal, just curious.
Which other site did you leave?
I'm surprised the city didn't put the bite on FedGov for new turbine-powered generators in 2006 or so.
I guess Edwards decided that he didn't want to come off looking as bad as Blanco did. Good call.
It was very establishment GOP, and not my style at all, I guess.
As I recall the same five ancient turbines were to have been replaced after Katrina, and at least one severe flood before and one after.
However that would take away the mayor’s favorite whipping boy to scrounge for federal dollars.
They may never get replaced at this rate.
Thanks. I’ve never spent any time on it.
Have to look sometime
They actually have some good contributing columnists...Thomas Sowell, VDH, and others but very establishment.
Less than the amount it cost to insure non-existent police officers (about 600 of 1500), way less than their base pay, less than the overtime paid to whoever was cashing the checks for non-existent police.
Way less than the $2 billion the U.S. Fed gov paid to the City of new Orleans to replace the pumps over the last 20 years.
Mitch Landrieu says argument city prioritized Confederate monuments over drainage issues a ‘red herring’ | News
Advocate staff report
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu insisted City Hall’s priorities are in order during an interview with WWL-TV’s Katie Moore on Thursday afternoon, dismissing perception that the removal of the city’s Confederate-era monuments took away funds that could have been used to fix drainage issues amid recent flooding.
“The monuments issue is an emotional issue for everybody,” Landrieu said during the interview. “You could use that argument about everything we’ve done, and people are going to continue to use it. I think that’s a red herring.”
Landrieu reiterated most of the money for the removal of the monuments was raised privately and that a majority of the public funds spent during the removals was “a consequence of how people acted and for the security we had to provide to make sure people stayed safe.”
“I have spent very little time on the monuments personally, everyone else got apoplectic about it,”Landrieu said. “I spoke very forcefully to it, I think it was the right thing to do ... But its at the minimus amount in comparison to all the other things that were talking about ...”
S&WB member resigns, blasts Mitch Landrieu for scapegoating employees for New Orleans infrastructure problems | News
JEFF ADELSON - firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Sewerage & Water Board members resigned their seats on the board Thursday, with one criticizing Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration for what he described as scapegoating the agency’s leadership.
The fallout from last weekend’s New Orleans flash flood continued Thursday.
Scott Jacobs, who served as president pro tem of the board, said he resigned because he felt the agency’s employees had been forced to take the fall for major infrastructure issues City Hall had never been forced to grapple with.
“City Hall has known for years that drainage is inadequate,” Jacobs said. “Im disappointed that instead of standing up and saying this is a problem, and now thes time to deal with it, were going to shoot a civil servant an hour until this problem is resolved.”
The real problem, he said, is that no one has forced a conversation about the enormous investment needed to fully upgrade and modernize the system to deal with storms and rainwater. Those root issues, he said, are to blame for Saturday’s flooding and Thursday’s power issues as S&WB’s plant.
Jacobs said he had sympathy for both S&WB Executive Director Cedric Grant and General Superintendent Joe Becker. Both have been under fire since this weekend, when the S&WB assured citizens the system was working at full capacity. It was later revealed, in part by City Council members aggressively questioning Becker, that 16 pumps were not working at the time.
Becker, in particular, has been criticized for arguing that no one had been misled because the system was working to the capacity it had at the time.
“Joe Becker was a good engineer, he wasnt a spokesman,” Jacobs said. “He was trying to describe to people that a ‘67 Chevy was running like a ‘67 Chevy.”
Landrieu said in an emailed statement he was surprised by Jacobs’ comments.
“There’s obviously a lot of passion, anger, and frustration stemming from these events,” Landrieu said. “My commitment to reforming SWB has been unwavering, and I stand by that record working with the board. No one can say with a straight face that we have not worked hard and successfully secured record amounts for infrastructure and spoken almost weekly about the need for more, often specifically for drainage. We also have worked since day one to rebuild the power plant. I have great respect for the volunteers that serve on these boards and will continue to work with the Board and this community to restore trust and credibility.”
Jacobs, who is married to businesswoman and charter school advocate Leslie Jacobs, said from a practical side, the fact that he planned to be out of town for significant portions of the next few months also played a role in his decision.
Jacobs said board member Kerri Kane also submitted her resignation. Kane could not immediately be reached for comment.
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