S&WB: Blame the rain, not the pumps

David Blake
May 21, 2018 - 12:46 pm
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Officials at the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans say they have completely reviewed the data from Friday's flooding in New Orleans, and say Mother Nature is mostly to blame for what happened.

How was the pumping during Friday's heavy rain?

Operations Manager Joe Sensebe says with 115 out 120 pumps operational. it was too much and too fast.

"It was raining at a rate of six inches an hour," explained Sensebe. "That was the intensity of the rain hitting the ground."

Sensebe said that was just beyond to capacity they could handle: ''The system was already fully engaged, we were taking on a lot of water and to use an analogy, at one point we tried to fit six gallons of water in a five gallon bucket. We ran out of buckets."

He said to handle something like six inches of rain in an hour, the city would need an entirely new drainage system, at a cost of billions of dollars. He said that's a decision that "the public will have to make."

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