NEW ORLEANS – Once again, the Sewerage & Water Board says its ability to pump water out of New Orleans was compromised as water filled the city.
Almost exactly one hour after the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning on the morning of June 10, a “major generator” went offline, according to S&WB Executive Director Ghassan Korban.
“The national weather service issued a flash flood warning at 7:50 a.m.,” Korban said in a statement released on the official S&WB Twitter account. “By that time, the rain was already coming heavy & already more than 3 inches had fallen in the Mid-City area. When the storm was over, more than four inches fell at stations 2, 3, and 17. That’s roughly Mid-City, Gentilly and toward the lake. The bottom line is that was more rain that our system could handle. When the rain started, we turned on our major generator, Turbine 4, and T1 and our frequency changers in response to the rain. Our pumps were operational, but at 8:52, T4 tripped offline.”
With a major source of power down, pumping capacity was seriously decreased across the city, and floodwater that had accumulated in streets spilled into homes, cars, and businesses. Crews were able to eventually bring the downed turbine back online, but by that time, most of the city was already underwater.
“Within two hours, we returned T4 to service and we continue to do everything we can to drain the remaining storm water,” Korban said. “We will continue to examine what happened. When we have additional information we will provide it to you and the public.”