Published by Fox 8 Live on August 21, 2017
Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City officials provided an update on the status of Sewerage and Water Board’s (S&WB) power generation and drainage systems in New Orleans as well as an update on catch basin repairs and assistance delivered to over 500 residents at the flood resource center held last week.
Since the August 5 drainage and flood incident, three pumps have been repaired. There are currently 105 of the 120 pumps available to be operational in the event of heavy rainfall. Crews have repaired three large drainage pumps at Drainage Pump Stations #6, #7 and #11 and taken one pump offline at Drainage Pump Station #11 to conduct scheduled repair services.
The 15 total pumps that are out of service have been assessed and emergency repairs have begun. The 105 pumps that are operational are being assessed to determine their capacity. At this time, five different contractors are working around the clock to fix the pumps that are out of service.
S&WB has posted a status update of the pumps on its website. In response to recent rain events on July 22 and August 5, S&WB has provided to the public Drainage Pumping Station Logs and the Central Control Log Book. Those items are available at www.swbno.org.
The turbine damaged on August 9, Turbine #1, is running after being repaired and is operational. To provide additional capacity and redundancy, 26 generators were ordered and delivered. Sixteen generators are connected and ready to use, seven are undergoing testing and will be available soon, and additional three are on standby and will be deployed as needed.
This redundancy will remain throughout Hurricane Season. The City will update residents on generator installations, and pump and turbine repairs as information becomes available.
Additional Funding For Drainage, Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
On Thursday, Aug.17, the City of New Orleans presented an approximately $26 million plan from Mayor Landrieu to clean and fix thousands of catch basins, provide an early warning system for underpass flooding and conduct a comprehensive analysis of the problems that led up to the July 22 and August 5 floods. Mayor Landrieu previously announced the City would work to clean and fix more catch basins and drain lines, especially in areas most prone to flooding.
The $22 million for catch basin and drainage point repairs includes $7.8 million allocated by the City Council from the City’s fund balance for catch basin cleanings and $14.2 million in bond funds for drainage point repairs that were committed to other street projects. Additionally, the City Council allocated $3 million to Homeland Security for disaster preparedness, $650,000 to Homeland Security for underpass flood early warning system, and $500,000 to Chief Administrative Office for Root Cause Analysis.
Update on Catch Basin Cleanings and Drainage Point Repairs
The Department of Public Works (DPW) is working Monday through Friday to clean and unclog catch basins and flush drain lines. Since Aug. 6, DPW has cleaned over 450 catch basins and more than 13,450 feet of drain lines. DPW cleans an average of 5 to 6 catch basins per day per vacuum truck crew for an average of 4,263 catch basins per year. DPW flushes approximately 48 miles or 255,780 linear feet of drain line per year.
DPW has also issued a request for bids for an additional $7 million in catch basin cleanings with responses expected by Wednesday, Aug. 23. Additionally, DPW has requested bids for $14.8 million in drainage point repairs. Those bids are due Friday, Aug. 25.
Flood Recovery Resource Center
Last week, the City of New Orleans hosted a flood recovery resource center to provide flood-affected residents and businesses additional access to information and resources. The resource center saw nearly 520 individuals across four days. Organizations provided individuals information and resources to help fix flood-damaged homes and businesses; provide legal assistance for tenants facing eviction and to avoid contractor fraud; and help in obtaining Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, rental assistance and donated goods.
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans will continue to assist flood-affected residents with intake and case management.
For more information on flood recovery resources, residents and business owners should visit https://nola.gov/ready/augustflood/ or call 311.
Independent, Third-Party Analysis
On Monday, Aug. 14, the City of New Orleans released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an independent third-party firm to conduct an analysis of the flood events of July 22, August 5, August 8, along with other past events, and the turbine failure at the S&WB Carrollton Power Plant on August 9, 2017. The City is seeking a firm to deliver a report that details in narrative, diagrams and data the causes of the flood events and turbine failure. It should be completed with input and analysis from subject matter experts and interviews with staff and contractors in order to determine the underlying causes. In addition, the analysis will provide clear and accurate information to the public from an independent source regarding the system’s capacity and vulnerabilities that can be communicated to the public.
Respondents must possess subject matter expertise and extensive experience in both root-cause analysis and the technical subject matter involved. Proposals are due today, Aug. 21, 2017. To view the RFP, click here.
The City will keep residents updated through email alerts and Twitter @NOLAReady.