Neighbors blame clogged storm drains for part of Saturday flooding

Neighbors blame clogged storm drains for part of Saturday flooding

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Pockets of residents from Mid-City to the 9th Ward, are asking for help Monday, after Saturday's flood.

Many say it's Katrina all over again, and they say their calls for assistance with clogged storm drains went unanswered.

"This is what I walked home to," said Linda Joseph.

She flooded after Katrina, in another part of town, and twice in the last two weeks off Orleans Ave. near Broad.

"Same thing all over again," she said.

To make matters worse, she has a storm drain right in front of her house, and her calls for maintenance went nowhere.

"He said I got special orders, I think I'm special, I've been working for the city for 39 years...that ain't special?..I'm dedicated," said Joseph.

"That storm drain even if it rains a little it doesn't move any water, it never works," said her neighbor Huy Lam.

Her neighbors new house, barely escaped.

Joseph says she has no money.

"Now they're telling me my insurance isn't kicking in for 30 days, so what am I gonna do," said Joseph.

The complaints about storm drains come just days after the city council convened a hearing with the Department of Public Works on the issue.

"I don't care what the excuses are, we've gone through this for a year, and a half," said councilmember Stacy Head last week.

"We are using all the resources we have to perform maintenance on the drainage system," said City Public Works Director Mark Jernigan, at the same hearing.

The city said it was addressing issues, problems  with many of the city's 45,000 storm drains, but funding made it difficult to get to all of them.

"I was worried, I never pray but I finally pray," said Lam.

Monday storm drains were clear across much of Mid City, thanks to city and state workers.

FOX 8 found a storm drain cleanout truck pulled over on Bienville St. It's driver said he had been working all morning off Orleans. But for many the damage is done.

"I'm trying to get some help to get this gutted out, I can't stay here like this," said Joseph.

"Do something about it. We're tired, all talk and no action," said Lam.

FOX 8 reached out to the city to see where the storm drain cleanout trucks were working, but have not heard back. But across much of Mid City we found dozens that had already been cleared of debris which accumulated after Saturday's flood. Also Monday afternoon, the Sewerage and Water Board insists that all the pumps were working.

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