S&WB members resign as diminished drainage capacity continues

S&WB members resign as diminished drainage capacity continues

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Thursday, two New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board members resigned as the city's drainage system deals with diminished capacity.

The president pro-tem of the S&WB, Scott Jacobs, said his resignation stems from Mayor Mitch Landrieu forcing employees to unfairly take the blame in the wake of Saturday's flooding, according to our partners at NOLA.com/The Times Picayune.

Jacobs told the media outlet the public's outrage should be directed at the Landrieu administration, because he said it has known for years about drainage problems.

Officials with Landrieu's office said Jacobs and Kerri Kane resigned from their volunteer positions.

Meanwhile, the city's pumping system is now dependent on power from Entergy to prevent homes and businesses from flooding.

Thursday morning, a fire knocked out a turbine providing power to the city's pumps. Currently, only one of the city's six turbines are operating. All but two were out of service before the fire. Other turbines stopped working this year, while another has not been operating since 2012, and another since Hurricane Katrina.

The areas at risk span a large portion of the city.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that because of the diminished pumping capacity, a state of emergency has been declared for Orleans Parish.

With the one working turbine, along with power from Entergy, 38 of the city's 58 available pumps west of the Industrial Canal are still operable.

However, if S&WB loses its power from Entergy during a sustained rain storm, the areas at risk for potential flooding include Lakeview, Mid City, the Seventh Ward and the CBD.

New Orleans East, Algiers and The Lower Ninth Ward are not impacted by the pump problems.

General Electric workers have joined city employees in an effort to try and fix the turbine involved in the fire.

Landrieu has also requested 14 two-megawatt generators to supplement the power during the rest of the hurricane season.

Late Thursday night, Landrieu announced that the water board had begun testing the damaged turbine to determine if it's ready to be brought fully online.

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