Sewerage and Water Board: 104 pumps operational

Sewerage and Water Board: 104 pumps operational
(Source: FOX 8 Photo)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - From broken pumps and turbines to severe staffing shortages a full agenda met the remaining members Sewerage and Water Board.

The board is now taking emergency steps to address a myriad of drainage problems as tropical systems line up in the Atlantic.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu sat across from outgoing Director Cedric Grant at the meeting as they discussed a series of challenges.

Of the city's 120 pumps, 104 are now working.

Sixteen pumps and three turbines remain inoperable. But the board is now engaging in $35 million in emergency contracts to make the necessary repairs.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the board has a $547 million repair backlog.

"We are in a zone where if the worst happens it will be a challenge," Landrieu said.

Landrieu said at least 3,100 catch basins need extensive work.

One board member, Alan Arnold, told the board he may resign his position. Expressing concerns about losing quorum for meetings, Landrieu asked Arnold to remain on the board.

With recent resignations of three members, the board now has five vacancies.

Landrieu said the vacancies must be filled soon and will require "certain expertise" under recent reforms.

A center to help victims of last week's flooding is scheduled to open Wednesday morning.

Flood Recovery Resource Center Schedule:

  • Wednesday, August 16, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 17, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, August 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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