City insists all pumps were working at full capacity during flood event

Officials say it was just too much rain

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
August 07, 2017 - 9:46 am

Leaders of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board are deflecting allegations and rumors that parts or all of the flood control system failed during Saturday's flooding across the city.

"It was a torrential rainfall, and we used everything that we had available to us to keep the system operating," Executive Director Cedric Grant told WWL's Tommy Tucker.  "We did everything that could be done... we were operating at 100% available pumping capacity"

He explained that the system just can't handle what the mayor's office described as a 100-year rain event.

Grant said that there are some issues that need attention with the system due to "deferred maintenance" that has been put off for years.

"Still, generally the system works within it's design limits of an inch the first hour and half an inch every hour after that."

The city says that rainfall amounts far exceeded that capacity.

"As much as 8 to 10 inches of rain fell in isolated areas of the city within three to four hours," according to a news release from the mayor's office.

The heaviest of the rain fell in Gentilly, Lakeview, Mid City, Treme and the CBD.

Cars, homes and businesses took on water.  Many described the flooding in their neighborhood as the worst they have seen since Hurricane Katrina.

Grant says they anticipated the heavy rainfall as best they could by pumping down canals, preparing backup systems and manning all pumping stations.

He reiterated that all of the pumps were working and doing the best they could under the circumstances.

Listen to Tommy and Grant:

Click here to read more about the rainfall amounts across the region...


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