New Orleans residents want catch basins and canals cleaned

Residents call for drains and catch basins to be cleaned

NEW ORLEANS - As the city continues repairing pumps and installing new generators, residents reached out to WWL-TV, wanting to know when the city plans on cleaning the drains and catch basins near their homes.

Barbara Bloodworth lives in Hollygrove. She says she has seen everything float inside of the canal, which sits across the street from her home on Colapissa and Monticello Avenue.

"They have cars in the canal, they have bicycles," Bloodworth said. "They have grocery baskets. They have matresses, box springs, garbage."

The flood on August 5th terrified her.

"Although I know I'm short, I had to walk up in water up to my knee," Bloodworth said.

Looking out of her window that day, she noticed the water tipping over the top.

"The water was seeping through those cracks," Bloodworth said.

Shabba Burton fears the same problem with the canal near his mother's home on Washington Avenue near Gert Town.

"It's gotten about right here to the top, right here," Burton described.  "And then it'll be a while until it comes down and everything." 

Burton and Bloodworth say canals and catch basins throughout the city are not being maintained properly.

"If they would clean the canals and the drains out, we wouldn't have no flooding," Bloodworth said.

Eyewitness News reached out to the city asking when was the last time drain lines were inspected. The city said they completed their last comprehensive inspection after Hurricane Katrina. The city also said a partial cleaning of the drain line was completed after Hurricane Isaac. Within the last three years, the Department of Public Works has cleared over 200 miles of drain lines.

Funding for storm drain maintenance, comes from the Department of Public Works 2017 adopted budget, which right now, has $7 million dedicated to engineering and maintenance, the city says. 

Bloodworth hopes maintenance happens quickly. With the images from August 5th on her mind, including a man in a wheelchair falling over in the rising waters, she does not feel safe.

"That was a disgrace! That poor man would've drowned if those other guys wouldn't have saved him! And that's a black eye to our city," Bloodworth said.

City officials also said the Sewerage and Water Board is also responsible for the interior drainage canals, as well as the outfall canals in Algiers.

The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for the outfall canals on the East bank. That includes Orleans, London Avenue and 17th Street.

 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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