New Orleans, La. - For an already saturated city of New Orleans, another soaking was the last thing we needed. But all over the FOX 8 viewing area, streets were impassable well into Friday afternoon.
The late morning downpour was simply too much for city pumps to handle. Many drivers were caught off guard and paid the price as they drove onto flooded streets. Some found themselves trapped.
It was simply a mess, from New Orleans East to the West Bank.
On Franklin Avenue near the interstate in Gentilly, floodwaters rose to nearly six feet, causing major traffic problems. A number of drivers attempted to make it through the street flooding, but stalled. Emergency workers responded and helped at least two stalled-out drivers to safety.
Four vehicles are still submerged on Franklin Avenue, and NOPD blocked the Franklin Avenue exit eastbound to traffic.
On Basin Street, business owners could only watch the water come in as drivers ignored the warnings, pushing the water in their wakes off the street and into storefronts.
At the Washington Avenue Canal, water was up a good 20 feet higher than normal at one point in the day, and the threat of an overflow seemed real.
One of the day's best images was provided by popular jazz trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, who gave more than a half dozen people a ride to a second line for Uncle Lionel Batiste, whose funeral was scheduled for Friday – their own vehicle stalled in the floodwaters in Treme. The stormy weather forced a rescheduling for Batiste's funeral; it's now set for Monday morning.
On the West Bank, emergency crews in Marrero dealt with rain and fire. Firefighters were called to the scene of a fire and downed power lines where the Westbank Expressway meets Garden Road.