Rainy week ahead prompts drainage concerns

Rainy week ahead prompts drainage concerns

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "One day you've got your air on. The next day you've got your heat on. It's the price we pay for living in the Big Easy," Robert Johnson said.

This week, you'll need an umbrella. The rain can be nasty, wet and just inconvenient.

"Well, it's New Orleans," Johnson said.

Just about every day this week, there's rain in the forecast. Some are predicting as much as 6 inches spread out over three to four days.

"I expect it to flood. If it's not flooding, than we're not in New Orleans. I mean we're barely above sea level," Johnson said.

With any considerable amount of rain in the forecast, city leaders jump into action.

"Typically when we get a lot of rain, we get calls through 311 to come out and clean catch basins," Director of Public Works Col. Mark Jernigan said.

Three large vacuum trucks are working to clear catch basins in some of the city's most flood-prone areas.

"We've got the vacuum that goes down and essentially sucks everything that's in the catch basin out. It cleans it all out and the water will flow," Jernigan said.

Jernigan said his workers can also flush drain lines to remove any clogged pipes. In some cases, though, Jernigan says they're finding nothing more than leaves blocking the front of catch basins.

"What is really helpful to us is if people, especially with leaves, go out and clean the front of catch basins," Jernigan said. "Remove leaves and allow the water to flow. This improves drainage and it also allows my crews to address catch basins that are really clogged."

Edna Charles knows the drill. She's already collecting debris from the front of her drains.

"The pine cones and pine needles are constantly clogging things up. I'm just picking up anything that could clog the drains," Charles said.

She's hoping her neighbors will do the same.

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