S&WB assessing damage after Carrollton Plant explosion

Updated: Dec. 14, 2019 at 10:24 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Sewage and Water Board officials say they are now assessing damage after a significant explosion at their Carrollton Plant.

It happened around 2 p.m. today when an explosion occurred in the gas-powered 5th turbine.

I really thought the world was coming to an end.

“First time I’ve ever been that frightened that much in my life," resident Lisa Carey said.

Gregory Duncan was washing his car when he heard the boom.

“The loudest one you ever hear in your life," Duncan said.

Residents describe the moment Turbine 5 exploded at Sewerage and Water Board's Carrollton plant.

Those who live along Monroe, near Spruce, were closest across the street from where the turbines are housed.

Lisa Carey and Loyal White were making minor repairs to her home when the explosion happened.

"Everybody was spooked about it. " White said.

“The lights went off, the building shook, the wall started cracking and moving, buckling in,” Carey said. “Cracks here, cracks on the ceiling. It just started cracking up.”

94-year-old Willard Anderson and his neighbor lost their front windows to the blast.

Sewerage and Water Board Director Ghassan Korban says it started as a normal day until turbine four’s safeguards identified an issue with its compressor.

“We’re already receiving complaints or claims of broken windows and what have you and we will address those as best we can,” Korban said.

He says when workers manually turned on Turbine five there was an explosion.

12 employees were in the area, three were injured and two of those were taken to the hospital.

“Thankful that they were all very minor injuries,” Korban said.

Korban explains sewerage and water board is now using Entergy to compensate for the loss of power. He says there’s no redundancy in the system but that there’s enough power to handle forecasted rain, Monday.

Korban says turbine four likely has less damage than five and could be back up and running soonest.

Residents aren’t surprised and say they knew by the black smoke and sheer force of the blast that something was very wrong.

“I was sitting in the yard when it exploded, it shifted me in my chair life that,” Johnny Wilson said.

Dette Leblanc was outside when the explosion occurred

“I heard it and it was so loud my ears went to pop and my whole body went to shaking because the whole street looked like it was lifting. Like it was shaking and I was shaking too,” Leblanc said.

Medical checked out several neighbors on this block, including Leblanc and Wilson. Common complaints included were rapid heart rate, ringing in the ears and headaches. No one requested an ambulance

S&WB is currently investigating so see if this incident has anything to do with the water main break in Algiers.

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