Ruptured pipe caused more problems for flooded underpass

Ruptured pipe caused more problems for flooded underpass

NEW ORLEANS, La. - Part of Canal Boulevard near the railroad bridge is prone to flooding and was completely under water Monday. However, the rain wasn't the only issue that caused flooding.

"It was quite dreadful, every time it rains it floods," said Emily who works nearby.

Water rose to almost three feet. However, it wasn't necessarily the rain that caused all the flooding. One woman's mother was driving in the area when a rupture in piping caused part of the concrete siding to buckle.

"She said as she was going through the water, it busted at that time and surged the area with water," said Tania. "It came really quickly and at that time she stalled out."

As the rain started Monday, the concrete was flat. However, video shows what it was like moments before it broke. After, water filled the area and Tania's mom had to be rescued.

"That's when a gentleman jumped out of his car, ran to her, and helped her get out of the car," she said. "They were worried the slab might come at her."

Residents who spoke with Eyewitness News say the same part of Canal Boulevard has been a big concern over the past few weeks and have actually watched it push out until it finally gave way Monday.

"If you walk by it and look in, it gives the appearance of a cave that's actually pushed forward by the amount of water that's gushing out," said Jeff Lunsford.

Lunsford lives nearby and says he first noticed it about three weeks ago. Seeing that it buckled Monday, wasn't a surprise to him.

"It's swollen," he said. "There's water coming out of it and it looks like a big pimple that's ready to pop. So one of these days it's going to happen and it looks like today is the day."

By 5 p.m., the water drained completely and traffic was moving. However, many now wonder if and when that part of the road will be fixed.

"The only reason why she says she did it is because she saw smaller cars in front of her going," said Tania. "She didn't expect anything like that would happen where a water pipe would bust and then flood the area."

Earlier Monday, Paul Rainwater with the Sewerage and Water Board said that a crew was sent out to look at the problem about two weeks ago and again on Monday after the pipe burst. 

"We're going to work on repairs, see what other issues are with that particular pipe. Obviously, it's old. It needs to be repaired and teams are going to work 24/7 to make sure that happens," Rainwater said. 

Eyewitness News also reached out to the man who rescued Tania's mom. He said he was headed to I-10 at Canal Boulevard when he noticed the water. 

"I briefly looked over to my left and the concrete gave way and water started gushing at a quick pace," he said. 

He said about two cars were able to make it pass the water, but the third car stalled and he felt compelled to stop to help. 

"Other motorists with SUVs and trucks passed by but didn't assist the lady and I felt as though I needed to get her out ASAP so she wouldn't become completely trapped. If I'm ever in a similar situation, I hope someone would help me too!"

© 2017 WWL-TV


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