Officials fired over New Orleans' response to torrential rain, flooding

Gov. John Bel Edwards center and Mayor Mitch Landrieu toured a flooding spot in Treme this afternoon

Officials fired over New Orleans' response to torrential rain, flooding

Landrieu spokesman Tyronne Walker said the administration is attempting to arrange for a private company to come in "as a temporary arrangement, for a finite time frame to be determined to allow for the stabilization of the system".

"The city is urging residents in the affected area to move their vehicles to higher ground, take necessary actions to protect personal property, and stay off of roadways during rain storms unless an emergency makes it absolutely necessary to do so", Landrieu said in a statement. "We would not be able to handle that level of capacity right now with the power that we have, which is why it is really important not only to get this turbine back up, but for the rest of hurricane season, backup generators so that we're not in this position again".

Curbed New Orleans reported that the Sewerage & Water Board lost a turbine on Thursday, Aug. 10 that powers the city's pumping stations that will drain the East Bank of New Orleans. New Orleans East, Algiers, and the Lower 9th Ward operate on a separate power source and are not affected by the outage. The Office of the Mayor had no further details on the fire. By comparison, 52 of those pumps were working on Saturday, when the city flooded.

New Orleans City Council members say damage from weekend flooding probably won't qualify as a federal or state disaster.

The National Weather Service said showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for New Orleans every day from Thursday through Sunday. "But now it seems if we get hit by another Katrina, the city will be gone".

General Superintendent Joseph Brooks submitted his retirement, effective September 30, said Sewerage and Water Board Executive Director Cedric Grant at a special meeting today called by the mayor.

By Tuesday, however, the board acknowledged that eight pumps were either broken or out of service when the rain began.

Landrieu had already accepted the resignation of Colonel Mark Jernigan, who headed up the Department of Public Works. Meteorological models aren't high resolution enough to say exactly where and when; at least 10 inches, if not 15, fell this morning in the northern part of the state (see map above) and there's no reason to think that couldn't happen in New Orleans at any time over the next week.

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