NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Large vacuum trucks were going from catch basin to catch basin along Claiborne Avenue Thursday.
"I'm very happy to see them. There are two trucks in a one-block radius," said Bobby Rollins.
That work, though, wasn't being done by the city.
DOTD hired several contractors with multiple vacuum trucks to clean the catch basins along state-run roadways. Those roadways include Claiborne Avenue.
Bobby Rollins lives just around the corner from the catch basin at Claiborne and St. Roch. It's covered in mud and clearly not working.
"It's past time, and I think that the city and the state should work together in cleaning these catch basins," he said.
The city said it's doing exactly that, saying it made the request for the DOTD to begin working on the catch basins. In the meantime, it has stepped up its own efforts to clean and repair 15,000 catch basins around New Orleans. The ramped-up effort began after the Aug. 5 flood and continued as the city prepared for possible effects from Harvey.
"Emergency and essential city personnel have been working around the clock to ensure that our citizens were safe. We provided over 63,000 sandbags and we cleaned over 1,300 catch basins," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
The city said in the past month, the Department of Public Works, along with the DOTD, cleaned nearly 2,000 catch basins and 84,000 linear feet of drain lines.
DOTD released the following statement:
"In response to recent weather related events and requests from local government, DOTD has increased our normal in-house maintenance efforts to address the cleaning of drainage infrastructure. In order to expedite the process, the department has employed the services of a private contractor to help supplement our resources in order to answer the urgent requests by local government.
"We recognize that our infrastructure is both antiquated and delicate and the demand on our drainage system has increased.
"It's our goal to work with state and local partners to help deliver the best drainage infrastructure system across the state. As a result, we are focused on maintenance and operations and mitigating the challenges of improved drainage is included."