City promises to step up efforts to clean catch basins

City promises to step up efforts to clean catch basins

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "It looked like an island. We had canoes going back and forth. We even saw a car floating down the street," says Tania Kirn.

Tania Kirn says while she knows the pumps weren't working in her Lakeview neighborhood, there's a collapsed catch basin on her street that's clearly not working.

"It's just very disturbing. I don't understand why nothing's being done about this," says Kirn.

"It's same thing all over again," says Linda Joseph.

Linda Joseph's Treme home flooded on Orleans Avenue, and she says her calls to the city's 311 system for help went nowhere.

"He said, 'I got special orders.' I think I'm special. I've been working for the city for 39 years," says Joseph.

The frustration over clogged or broken catch basins most recently came to light just four days before the Aug. 5 flood during a special council meeting. According to the city's Department of Public Works, there are 2,500 open requests for service on clogged catch basins.

The 311 system logs about 64 new complaints each month. The city says it has cleaned 3,500 catch basins so far this year.

Still, people like Joseph and Kirn are waiting to get the catch basins in their neighborhoods fixed before there's more flooding.

"All the tax money we pay in this city, and nothing's being done so far," says Kirn.

The city says it has stepped up its effort to clean catch basins. Right now, there are three vacuum trucks working Monday through Friday.

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