Heavy Rains in New Orleans Overwhelm City's Pump Stations; Officials Warn of Additional Flood Threats
August 6, 2017
City officials warned that additional thunderstorms could again overwhelm the city's pumping capacity on Sunday and Monday.
With some New Orleans neighborhoods seeing 8 to 10 inches of rain falling in just a few hours Saturday (Aug. 5), the rainfall overwhelmed the ability of the Sewage & Water Board's 24 pump stations to keep up, though all were operating, city officials said Sunday. And they warned that additional thunderstorms could again overwhelm the city's pumping capacity on Sunday and Monday.
The biggest threat for additional heavy rain is likely Monday afternoon, based on a morning briefing by National Weather Service forecasters, said Aaron Miller, the city's director of homeland security and emergency preparedness, at a Sunday morning news conference at New Orleans City Hall.
"With current saturation levels of the ground and the water that we've seen over the last few days, any additional rain will result in quick runoff, so we want residents to be particularly aware during rains when they're out on the roads," Miller said.
The city has no immediate plans to request an emergency declaration from the state, but said that could change once more information on flood damage is collected, said Ryan Berni, deputy mayor for external affairs. He said city emergency officials conducted an initial windshield survey of the most damaged areas on Sunday morning, especially looking at businesses and homes that took on water, and that information reported by residents and businesses over the next few days will be added.
"There are going to be hundreds of vehicles that got water, so we know that, particularly in Lakeview, Gentilly, Mid City and Treme were hot spots for that," he said.
"Public safety is our top priority, so we are advising residents to continue to monitor weather conditions and stay alert today," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu in a news release summarizing Saturday's storms and the Sunday recovery plans.
"These no-notice rain and flooding events can be very dangerous, but luckily, there was no loss of life," Landrieu said. "Today, we begin the hard work of assisting those who flooded and getting our streets passable for regular traffic. With additional rain expected today and the rest of this week, I would encourage all of our residents to clean in front of their catch basins."
- Blue Monster Prep