NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The City of New Orleans takes new steps to try and keep underpasses safe in heavy rain events. They have enlisted the help of the fire department and are looking at special new monitors.
All too often underpasses, as many as 15 of them, flood in heavy rains and last month an older woman had to be rescued on Carrollton Avenue. The woman drove right past a police officer who blocked Carrollton Ave. There were also barricades pre-positioned nearby but they were not put in place to block the roadway. An officer who couldn't swim rescued the woman as her car floated in the underpass.
Now, the city has announced a new initiative which calls on the fire department to assist the New Orleans Police Department in getting the barricades put in place during heavy rains. New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell says citizen's or officers may now call in to report underpass flooding.
"That initiates Operation Underpass which police and fire would get notified, and the areas, in their respective territories, and get the barricades in place as quickly as possible," said McConnell.
McConnell says that the city has now signed contracts to put water detection monitors at all underpasses. He says those monitors would be tied to a strobe light alert system warning people not to drive into the underpasses when they flood.
He says they are hoping to have that project put in place by years end.