Fire cripples pumping power in New Orleans

Could lead to increased flooding

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
August 10, 2017 - 4:54 am

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is warning that a fire Wednesday night in a power providing turbine has crippled gear that powers city pumps.

He says it could mean increased flooding today if there are heavy rains.

"We are at risk if we have a massive rain event that comes up on us at the last minute and creates the kind of flooding that we had," Landrieu explained. "The power we have available to us now will not be sufficient enough to pump the city out in the time needed."

He spoke just before 3:00am.

He says the announcement was out of "an abundance of caution."

The mayor said crews are working to repair the damage and they are functioning on backup power.

The city issued the following:

NEW ORLEANS—Last night, the Sewerage & Water Board lost service to one of its power turbines, which provides power to a majority of the City’s pumping stations serving the East Bank of New Orleans. As a result, the system’s capacity to drain storm water from the streets is diminished further for the East Bank of New Orleans, west of the Industrial Canal. This does not affect New Orleans East, Lower Ninth Ward and Algiers.

Due to potential rainfall forecasted by National Weather Service over the course of the next day, 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.

Pumping stations in Algiers, New Orleans East and Lower Ninth Ward are operating off of a separate power source and therefore are not impacted by this outage.

At this time, drinking water and sewerage services for all of the city are not affected by this outage.

Crews are on site now working to repair the down turbine and secure backup power torestore power to the pumping stations.

Due to the potentially severe weather that could result from high water, residents should call 911 to report street flooding and life-threatening emergencies. Residents are advised to remain indoors during heavy rainfall.

The City will keep residents updated through email alerts and the @NOLAReady Twitter account.


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