NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The sky went dark and the rain came down Saturday afternoon. New Orleans Sewerage and Water board reports nearly 5 inches of rain were recorded at the Lakeview pumping site, with scattered totals of 3 to 4 inches around the city.
Deputy Mayor Cedric Grant said, "With that level of rain you are going to see the water rise before we can catch up to it."
The mantra of 1 inch per hour for the first hour one 1/2 inch per hour after is lost when roadways become impassable before driver's eyes.
Grant said, "Quite honestly what that means is what exactly happened by 6 o'clock it was gone in all parts of town."
The streets cleared, but it would take heavy equipment to empty the basement of the LSU Health Dental School. Dean of LSU Health New Orleans Dental School Henry Gremillion, DDS said, "Most unexpected."
On a day when new students should be arriving and patients should be getting crowns and bridges, massive pumps and dryers were operating instead.
Gremillion said, "The electrical was being prepared to be switched over however prior to that the water intrusion came in."
Current plans should prevent this from happening again.
As one of the regular flooding spots in the city, the underpass on Canal Blvd. frequently fills up with water during heavy rain, but it's deluges like the one on Saturday that are of most concern. A massive pump now prevents the same kind of problems that used to be frequent under the train trestle across I-10.
Grant said, "Look at the size of the station. That was $39 million worth of improvements that go directly to the lake and that was to address one thing."
Grant said the grand scale and cost of doing such projects would take up a lot of space and cost billions of dollars.
He said, "We have a system that in most instances can accommodate most things."
Grant also noted that neighborhoods where the latest SELA projects are complete saw similar rain totals, but not as much flooding.
He said, "I didn't receive very many reports from Jefferson or Napoleon where these major canals now exist."
Relief for some, but not all.
LSU Health Dental School will be closed again on Tuesday, and only essential personnel are being told to report to campus. The primary care clinic across the street is not affected and will take patients with appointments.