New Orleans homeland security to meet with S&WB with an eye on tropics

Officials watch the tropics

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The city's Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is monitoring Tropical Depression 16.

Homeland Security Director Aaron Miller said his department will be meeting with the Sewerage and Water Board on Thursday to talk about the storm and the city's pumping capacity. That capacity is diminished, and there was flooding this week during heavy rain reminiscent but not as severe as Aug. 5.

The city said 108 of the city's 120 pumps are working, and three of six turbines are operational. With respect to the city's clogged catch basins, a spoekwoman sent the following statement:

Since the beginning of 2017, a total of 6,456 catch basins have been cleaned in New Orleans, including 3,516 since August.

"On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the City's contractor Compliance Envirosystems (CES) began working on catch basin cleanings. The contractor is expected to complete 15,000 cleanings in 120 days. CES currently has 10 trucks cleaning catch basins from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. They were cleaning in the following neighborhoods today: Tulane-Gravier, St. Bernard Area, 7th Ward, Mid-City, Lakeview, Florida Area, Fillmore, Desire Area, Central City, Black Pearl, Audubon. 

"Additionally, Hard Rock Construction will begin conducting $14 million in catch basin repairs on Oct. 9. The contract calls for various minor to major repairs to approximately 7,500 catch basins, which should be complete within 8 months."

FOX 8 reached out to the S&WB Wednesday for an update on the pumps, but we were told the no one was available for an interview. However, they later released the following statement:

"The Sewerage and Water Board is working closely with New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the Mayor's Office to monitor the approaching Tropical Weather System in the Gulf of Mexico. S&WB and its contractors continue to work around the clock to repair all power and pumps to stabilize and strengthen the City's drainage system. Since early August, S&WB has repaired seven drainage pumps and two turbines. Today, 108 of 120 drainage pumps are fully operational. Turbines 1, 3 and 6 are available for service with additional power being provided by 26 backup generators which were mobilized under emergency declaration. Additionally, S&WB is in the process of installing five Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) Generators at the Carrollton Water Plant that are scheduled to be available for service in the coming weeks. Before bringing the EMDs online, S&WB will run tests and inform the neighboring community. Currently, S&WB is exploring installing a noise dampening structure around the EMDs.

"Updates on pump availability can be found at www.swbno.org.

"Residents are advised to visit ready.nola.gov, on Twitter @NOLAReady, and on Facebook @NOLAReady for the latest storm updates. Additionally, sign up for NOLA Ready alerts, which will notify residents of emergency situations, at www.nola.gov/ready/alert/."

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