METAIRIE -- Jefferson Parish has a plan in place if there are pumping capacity problems with a pumping station near the 17th Street Canal that is shared with and operated by Orleans Parish, JP President Mike Yenni said Friday.
The pumping station serves parts of Old Metairie and the Jefferson neighborhood along with several Orleans Parish neighborhoods. According to Yenni, the parish was aware during Saturday's heavy rain event that 4 of the 15 pumps at the shared station were not available.
He said the parish used its redundancy plan that included what he called "equalizer canals" and a retention pond at Pontiff Playground on Saturday and he said that plan would keep Jefferson Parish citizens safe in the event of another extremely heavy rain event.
However, Yenni said he was upset that he found out about Thursday's early morning turbine issue at the Sewerage and Water Board's main power plant through the media. He said a contract between the two parishes require a phone call from Orleans to Jefferson Parish when that type of issue occurs.
Yenni said the parish pays $1 million a year to help with the cost of the upkeep at the shared pumping station.
"I'm frustrated and angry that neither I nor anyone in my office was notified," Yenni said. He added that Orleans will notify Jefferson Parish twice daily about the status of the water system's power situation from now on.
New Orleans Pump Crisis
He also said that Jefferson Parish has offered manpower and equipment to help get the pump back in good working order, but that as of Friday afternoon, Orleans Parish had not taken them up on the offer.
Sewerage & Water Board Pump Station No. 6 was built across the 17th Street Canal on the Orleans-Jefferson line and drains parts of Old Metairie and Jefferson. In New Orleans, it drains parts of Mid-City, Hollygrove and Carrollton.
Currently, six of the 15 pumps -- including four drainage pumps -- are out of service.
The city’s ability to pump storm water was nearly crippled after an electrical fire caused a control panel on a turbine that generates electricity for many of the city’s pumps to stop working, officials have said.
The turbine was slowly being returned to service Friday.
At Pump Station No. 6, work to repair the constant pumps was expected to be done by Sept. 5, according to Sewerage & Water Board documents.
Work on one drainage pump is expected to be done next week, while work on two others is scheduled to wrap Sept. 30, according to S&WB documents.
An emergency contract has been requested for the fourth pump.
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