Faulty underpass pump stations cut major roads off from city

Frustrated residents who live near underpasses say they've been complaining for years about flooding. Left without backup generators and with little faith in the sewage and water board, they worry every time it rains they'll be cut off from the rest of th

Frustrated residents who live near underpasses say they've been complaining for years about flooding. Left without backup generators and with little faith in the Sewage and Water Board, residents say they worry they'll be cut off from the rest of the city every time it rains.

Residents say they didn't bat an eye when the Sewage and Water Board drama unfolded.

"I'm not surprised," Randie Porobil, owner of Lakeview Brew said. "I feel they've lied to us for many years."

With each storm the flooding gets worse and worse. August 5 was no exception.

"The water kept getting higher and higher," Porobil said. "The highest it's been since Katrina."

The bigger problem is that these underpasses are on major roadways that connect to the interstate. Canal Boulevard, St. Bernard Avenue and Franklin Avenue all connect to 610. When the underpasses are flooded, drivers are cut off.

"It's a terrible situation," Porobil said.

"We're pretty trapped," resident, Michael Schwaak, said. "We don't ever try to leave the house."

The Sewage and Water Board had plans to automate the system.

"Give me about a year to get that done," Executive Director Cedric Grant said in June.

The board also had plans to get back up generators for the underpass pumps.

"We're doing upgrades to them to give them additional backup generation," Grant said again in July.

With Grant stepping down and the board in disarray, there is no word on when these problems will be solved. Residents are tired of waiting.

"Get your act together," Porobil said. "We know what's going on and we're gonna hold you accountable. We want this rectified."

The city released a statement that said in part:

"The project was planned before the flooding events of July 22nd and August 5th, however, the S&WB is now working to establish an accelerated timetable to bring them online sooner."
 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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