Mayor Landrieu Provides Additional Sewerage and Water Board Update
Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City officials provided an update on the status of the Sewerage and Water Board’s drainage system in New Orleans. The turbine damaged on Wednesday night, Turbine #1, is running after being successfully repaired and gradually brought back online. Twenty-two of 26 generators ordered for additional capacity and redundancy have arrived and are being connected. They are expected to be in service by Monday. Four final generators are in route from Miami and will be delivered Monday. This redundancy will remain throughout Hurricane Season. The City will update residents on generator deliveries as information becomes available.
S&WB has brought in third-party technical assistance to establish a plan and process for how to fix the downed turbines; 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.
According to the S&WB, there are currently 103 of the 120 pumps available to be operational in the event of heavy rainfall. The 17 pumps that are out of service are being assessed for emergency repairs, and the pumps that are operational are being assessed to determine their capacity. At this time, 5 different contractors are beginning work around the clock to fix the pumps that are out of service.
S&WB will post a status update of the pumps on its website. In response to recent rain events on July 22 and August 5, S&WB provided to the public Drainage Pumping Station Logs and the Central Control Log Book. Those items are available at swbno.org.
Sandbags Available for Pick-Up
In anticipation of an inclement weather event this afternoon, sandbags are still available to be picked up today until they run out at the intersection of Perdido and S. Lopez Streets. Additional locations to pick up sandbags will be announced later.
Preparing for High Water
NOPD has staged barricades in the following areas prone to flooding, including under overpasses around the city. At this time, the City also has high water vehicles and other response vehicles on hand in the event that flooding occurs.
- Paris Avenue and Gentilly Boulevard
- St. Bernard Avenue at I-610
- Franklin Avenue at I-610
- Gentilly Boulevard and Peoples Avenue
- Press Drive and Leon C. Simon Drive
- Broad Street and A.P. Tureaud Street
- City Park Pumping Station
- Canal Boulevard and Navarre Street
- Tulane Avenue and S. Carrolton Avenue
- Metairie Road at I-10
Viewing Real-Time Traffic Accidents Online
The City also unveiled Streetwise, a website for viewing real-time reports of flooding and accidents from 911 calls. To see where reported traffic accidents and street flooding are occurring, visit http://streetwise.nola.gov.
Turbine Power Loss on Wed., August 9
On Wednesday, August 9, the Sewerage & Water Board lost service to one of its power turbines, leaving only one turbine and Entergy power as the remaining power source. As a result, the system’s capacity to drain stormwater from the streets is diminished for the East Bank of New Orleans, west of the Industrial Canal. Pumping stations in Algiers, New Orleans East and Lower Ninth Ward have diesel generators and therefore will not be impacted in this event.
Sewerage & Water Board crews worked 24-hour shifts to repair the turbine and to secure backup power to restore power to drainage pumping stations to the impacted portion of the city.
Mayor Signs Declaration of Emergency
On August 10, Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed a declaration of emergency for the City of New Orleans and Governor John Bel Edwards signed an emergency declaration the State of Louisiana as well. The local disaster declaration allows for more flexible strategy and purchasing of assets needed in emergencies.
City Advises Residents to Take Precautions
If all of the power from Entergy continues, the City will be able to handle typical rainfall. However, the city remains at risk in the event of a major rain storm until additional turbines are brought back online. Out of an abundance of caution, the City is urging residents in the affected area to move their vehicles to higher ground, take necessary actions to protect personal property, and stay off of roadways during rainstorms unless an emergency makes it absolutely necessary to do so.
Residents should call 911 to report street flooding and life-threatening emergencies. Residents are advised to remain indoors during heavy rainfall. Residents should call 311 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for non-emergency services and general information. 311 will maintain these hours daily at this time. The City’s Emergency Operations Center will remain open and staffed until further notice.
At this time, drinking water and sewerage services for all of the city are unaffected by this outage. The generators being secured will provide additional redundancy for those systems as well.
The City will keep residents updated through email alerts and Twitter @NOLAReady.
The Orleans Parish Schools (OPSB) and Recovery School District (RSD) have announced that school campuses will be open starting Monday, August 14. In light of the city’s announcement that the Sewerage and Water Board (SWB) power turbine that was taken out of commission due to a fire has been fixed, school programs may resume as previously scheduled at all Orleans Parish school sites.
Both district-run and public charter schools will be open starting next week. For a list of the first days of school for each campus head to http://opsb.us/2017/07/first-days-of-school-for-the-2017-18-school-year/.
For more information on OPSB, visit www.opsb.us and OPSB Facebook and Twitter (@_OPSB) pages. For more information on RSD, visit www.rsdla.net and RSD Facebook and Twitter (@RSD_LA ) pages.