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Aug 14
11:50 PM
S&WB Stormwater Pumping Capacity

City Provides Update on SWB Power Generation and Drainage Systems

Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City officials provided an update on the status of the Sewerage and Water Board’s power generation and drainage systems in New Orleans. The turbine damaged on Wednesday night, Turbine #1, is running after being repaired and gradually brought back online. All of the 26 generators ordered for additional capacity and redundancy have arrived and are being connected. Crews are still working to bring eighteen of these generators into service. This redundancy will remain throughout Hurricane Season. The City will update residents on generator deliveries and installations as information becomes available.

S&WB has brought in third-party technical assistance to establish a plan and process for how to return the three downed turbines to service; how to acquire additional equipment for backup power sources such as generators, transformers, feeders and other equipment; how to fix the broken pumps as soon as possible; and, to determine the true capacity of the working pumps. The City is also in the process of reallocating funds to increase our capacity to clean and repair more catch basins and drain lines.

Response to Flooding

New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is currently in the process of conducting damage assessments along with State officials. Due to the highly-localized flooding and the differences block-by-block in flooding impacts, the City is conducting individual outreach door-to-door. The City is seeking volunteer partners to assist with this effort. The Office of Economic Development is conducting outreach to businesses. The City encourages anyone with questions on debris collection, flood assessment or flood cleanup to call 311 as this helps the City get more information about specific impact of flooding.

According to FEMA, over 800 insurance claims have been filed in New Orleans through its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The City has also requested assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

Flood Recovery Resource Center 

The City of New Orleans will host a flood recovery resource center this week to provide flood-affected residents and businesses additional access to information and resources. A National Flood Insurance Program specialist will be available to answer questions to residents and business owners. Additionally, several community organizations will be present to inform the public of available services.

The flood recovery resource center will be hosted at the Corpus Christi-Epiphany Community Resource Center at 2022 St. Bernard Ave, (entrance at the corner of N. Galvez Street and Onzaga Street) during the following days and times:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 16, 3pm to 7pm;
  • Thursday, Aug. 17, 3pm to 7pm;
  • Friday, Aug. 18, 10am to 2pm; and
  • Saturday, Aug. 19, 10am to 2pm.

More information on flood recovery resources is available online or by calling 311.

Fixing Broken SWB Infrastructure

Under emergency procurement, SWB is finalizing a contract with CH2M to be the project manager for fixing turbines and pumps that are broken. CH2M is supporting efforts to stabilize the power generation and drainage pumping systems.

SWB also has a team of power generation experts from US Army Corps of Engineers assisting.

Assessment of what is “Operational”

Additionally, SWB is finalizing an emergency contract with Veolia to immediately assess what equipment is currently working but may not be at optimal capacity so SWB can make fixes and truly know the pumping capacity at this time.

We expect to have these contracts finalized by the SWB Meeting Wednesday.

Independent, Third-Party Analysis

Today, 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 Sewerage and Water Board (SWB) of New Orleans’ Carrollton plant on August 9. 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 by August 21, 2017. To view the RFP, click here.

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