Wednesday, 23 August 2017 23:39

New Orleans gives Harvey update for flood-prone city Featured

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The last thing New Orleans needs with inadequate pumping and a horrific flooding event only weeks ago, is another potential flooding event.  According to the City of New Orleans and Mayor Mitch Landrieu, much depends upon whether the rain band stalls.

 

New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu gives update to Harvey for flood prone city

Below is a update from the City of New Orleans and Landrieu:

Today, the City of New Orleans provided an update on precautions in advance of Tropical Depression Harvey as Mayor Landrieu and City officials continue to monitor the system, located in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the National Weather Service, Harvey is expected to become a Tropical Storm later today and will strengthen as it approaches the central coast of Texas Friday, August 25. After making landfall in Texas on Friday, the storm will slow down considerably and make its way east over parts of Louisiana.

While still uncertain, the latest forecast shows Harvey strengthening by Friday and producing heavy rainfall and potential flooding affecting New Orleans starting Saturday and potentially lasting through mid-week. The current forecast indicates 5-10 inches of rain for the duration of the tropical system for New Orleans with heaviest rain most likely over the weekend and through mid-week. If the rain bands stall, New Orleans could see more rain from this tropical system.


As always during Hurricane Season, residents are reminded to make a plan. Remember that you could lose power, so plan for at least three days’ worth of supplies, including water, food, and medications.


City Working with Local, State and Federal Partners on PreparationsThe City continues to work with local, federal and state partners such as FEMA, GOHSEP, LANG, Army Corps of Engineers on understanding the current risks, vulnerabilities, and how the City can keep residents safe, which is our top priority.  


Last week, Mayor Landrieu led a table top exercise with emergency personnel to ensure the City is closely monitoring all weather systems that could produce serious rain and to update our emergency plans. Yesterday, Mayor Landrieu joined Governor John Bel Edwards in a meeting with FEMA Administrator Brock Long. The Mayor requested in that meeting that FEMA pre-position as many assets as possible on the ground in New Orleans in the event of a serious weather event. This type of coordination is standard for emergency teams during Hurricane Season.


Update on Drainage SystemSewerage and Water Board (S&WB) and its contractors continue to work around the clock to repair all power and pumps. Since August 6, S&WB has brought one turbine back online, repaired three pumps, and secured and mobilized 26 backup generators. The City has secured contractors to provide additional manpower so that in the event of an incident, all stations will be properly manned. While the drainage capacity has improved since the August 5 flooding, the City’s drainage and pumping system remains in a state of diminished drainage pumping capacity until all turbines and pumps are fully restored.


S&WB has posted a status update of the pumps on its website. In response to recent rain events on July 22 and August 5, S&WB has provided to the public Drainage Pumping Station Logs and the Central Control Log Book. Those items are available at www.swbno.org.


Update on Catch Basin Cleanings and Drainage Point RepairsThe Department of Public Works (DPW) is working Monday through Saturday to clean and unclog catch basins and flush drain lines. DPW has four vacuum trucks in service currently. Since August 6, DPW has cleaned over 800 catch basins and more than 48,000 linear feet of drain lines. DPW cleans an average of five to six catch basins per day per vacuum truck crew for an average of 4,263 catch basins per year. DPW flushes approximately 48 miles or 255, 780 linear feet of drain line per year.

DPW has also issued a request for bids for an additional $7 million in catch basin cleanings with responses expected this afternoon. Additionally, DPW has requested bids for $14 million in drainage point repairs. Those bids are due Friday, Aug. 25.


In advance of heavy rainfall, remove leaves, grass and other visible debris in front of catch basin openings and nearby, and to place lawn clippings in garbage cans and never blow or sweep them down a catch basin. To reduce risk of street flooding, do not park in front of or on a catch basin. Call 311 to report catch basins that are not fully functioning. Avoid lifting a catch basin lid or inserting anything into a catch basin. Read the Only Rain Down the Drain guide.


Sign up for Special Needs RegistryThe City is also encouraging individuals who require special assistance during emergencies to enroll in its Special Needs Registry. The registry does not guarantee assistance, but allows first responders to appropriately plan for, prepare for and respond to community needs. The Special Needs Registry includes all individuals, regardless of age, with a chronic condition, disability, special healthcare need, or who may require additional assistance during an emergency. These include those who:Use life support systems such as oxygen, respirator, ventilator, dialysis, pacemaker, or are insulin dependent;Have mobility disabilities and use a wheelchair, scooter, walker, cane, or other mobility device;Are visually impaired, blind, hard of hearing, or deaf;Have speech, cognitive, developmental or mental health disabilities; and,Use assistive animals or a prosthesis.
 A family member, caregiver, or authorized representative can enroll an individual on their behalf. Residents may enroll in the Special Needs Registry by calling 3-1-1 or by visiting ready.nola.gov.


The City advises residents to look for updates regularly posted on ready.nola.gov, on Twitter @NOLAReady, and on Facebook @NOLAReady. Additionally, sign up for NOLA Ready alerts, which will notify residents of emergency situations, at https://www.nola.gov/ready/alert/.

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