Some New Orleanians still dealing with water issues from last week's deep freeze

Updated: Jan. 22, 2018 at 11:04 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Lingering water pressure issues from last week's deep freeze are still causing problems for some New Orleanians.

The Dean of LSU's School of Dentistry, Dr. Henry Gremillion, says due to low water pressure they haven't been able to sterilize instruments since last Tuesday.

"It's been a very interesting experience without water pressure. As you might imagine, in a dental practice, even a small dental practice, we can't function from everything from actually working on teeth, rinsing the mouth but, most importantly too, is our sterilization. Our sterilization system is dependent on high water pressure to optimally sterilize the instruments," said Gremillion.

Because they haven't been able to do that, student clinics will remain closed to patients Tuesday morning.

"Because of the backlog of instruments that hasn't been sterilized, because of lack of water pressure, lack of water, in truth it's going to take tomorrow morning to take care of that backlog so, tomorrow morning in our student clinics, we're going to use that time to prepare for our afternoon patients whose schedules will be maintained," said Gremillion.

The school has been closed since last Wednesday because of the bad weather and low water pressure.

"In addition, the volume of patients that we see as the only dental school in the state, without restroom facilities you just can't operate," said Gremillion.

Students were able to return to class Monday. But, they we're still dealing with bathroom issues.

"Thankfully we have porta-potties so we are able to be back at school, you know, using porta-potties is just like being on a Mardi Gras parade route or being at one of the big festivals like Jazz Fest or something so, being a New Orleanian you're used to it," said LSU Health Dental Student, Gabrielle Nguyen.

And, they're not the only ones still dealing with the aftermath of last week's deep freeze. Residents of the Lower Garden District apartment complex, The Georgian, were sent a notice Monday morning asking them to refrain from flushing their toilets "to prevent overflows and damages." The reason given was low water pressure. FOX 8  was unable to reach apartment management for comment Monday night.

As for LSU's Dental School, they're hopeful they'll be back in business by Tuesday afternoon.

"We have had some encouraging changes today where we do have some water pressure hopefully enough water pressure that will allow for our sterilizers to be at optimum function, we have someone here working with those sterilizers now to verify that they are functioning at their highest level," said Gremillion.

The dental school is planning to see afternoon patients at their student clinics. They'll reschedule morning patients as soon as possible. The faculty practice will be fully operational Tuesday as their equipment has been sterilized.

FOX 8 has reached out to the Sewerage and Water Board about this story but they have not given us a response yet.

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