NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu met with new FEMA Administrator Brock Long and Governor John Bel Edwards on Tuesday in Baton Rouge to discuss preparations for potential flooding in the city while repairs are being made to broken drainage pumps.
The mayor admits with the current weakened state of the city’s drainage system there are new variables to consider. Landrieu would not say if the city would be forced to evacuate prior to even a minor storm.
“We don't have a trigger yet because we don't have clarity on the weather events that are coming and of course everyday that our capacity gets bigger, that trigger gets higher,” Landrieu said.
The city has asked FEMA to reposition available assets as much as possible to ensure the greatest amount of preparedness in the event of a flooding incident. Administrator Long said FEMA is already providing resources to the city.
“We've already inserted some of our planners into the state's team to support the local governments. The Army Corps of Engineers is already supplying generation power as the city works to bring the generators up on line,” Long said.
As first reported by Eyewitness News, Cedric Grant is now out as executive director of the Sewerage and Water Board with his retirement now immediate.
Landrieu announced a five-member team on Monday to run the agency on a temporary basis.
“To be led by Col. Paul Rainwater who has extensive experience on the federal, state and local level, along with Brig. Gen. Owen Monconduit who is going to help lead that effort as well,” Landrieu said.
Rainwater was former Governor Bobby Jindal’s commissioner of administration and chief of staff. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority is also loaning its top engineer Bob Turner to the S&WB until the end of hurricane season.
The team will also include long-time Democratic Party Operative and Communications Expert Rene Lapeyrolerie and Terrance Ginn, the deputy commissioner for finance and administration for the Louisiana Board of Regents.