Widespread City Flooding Preludes Start of Hurricane Season

Photo Credit: Tiger Watson
By Data Staff Writers

If this past Sunday’s Mother’s Day flood was a precursor to what we should expect going into Hurricane Season (starting June 1st and ending November 30th) we are in for a long five months. As New Orleanians slept Saturday night/early Sunday morning, more than five inches of rain fell across the City, sometimes falling at a rate of two inches per hour according to the Sewerage and Water Board. As a result, in the following hours widespread flooding ensued, along with an all-too-familiar scene of flooded cars and businesses along major streets and intersections in New Orleans.

Amid intermittent news coverage, flash flood warnings and persistent emergency cell phone messages, the Sewerage and Water Board revealed that the Station 7 pump, located near City Park, had failed but out of 120 pumps, 115 were working. Entergy New Orleans released a statement Monday saying they were assessing the possibility that lightning strikes caused the pump’s malfunction. The City of New Orleans released the following statement: “As we work to continuously improve storm water management infrastructure, the City and the Sewerage and Water Board will analyze today’s rain event and its impact. Using pump station and rain gauge data, drainage surveys, and video analysis, we will work to determine rainwater volume versus drainage capacity and to identify potential opportunities for drainage improvements.”

Last week the Mayor announced that an agreement had been reached with state and local lawmakers securing critical infrastructure funding, reportedly upwards of $200 million over five years, saying that the deal has put us on a “sustainable path to making investments in the basic infrastructure needs of the City.” But as business owners waited on the flooded North Claiborne Ave. to get to their once again flooded businesses on Basin St. in the Treme’’’, they took to Social Media to voice their outrage and frustration. “They say if you live in New Orleans, stop complaining,” one business owner said in his Facebook Page adding, “I love my City, even when my City doesn’t love me.” Some businesses along Basin Street were still closed for repair at press time.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said of the flooding, “My administration has been laser-focused on infrastructure as a whole and storm water management in particular. As we face our issues head-on, we are using data and experience to better live with water.”

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