Solution in the works for Canal Boulevard's flooding problem

The flood-prone underpass at Canal Blvd. near Navarre has been a traffic nightmare for years.

NEW ORLEANS -- Water rose under the train tracks on Canal Boulevard near Navarre Thursday evening and stayed there through the following morning.

"It didn't go down until 8:30 this morning and it started at 6 last night so over 12 hours it was there,” Randie Porobil said. She’s watched the problem unfold from her restaurant, Lakeview Brew, for the last decade.

“I’ve seen it flood many times,” Porobil said.

Along with the flooding comes accidents, traffic backups and more.

"There's even been people trapped in there, in their cars and got rescued,” Porobil said, talking about several incidents that happened back in 2016. Porobil's biggest complaint is the fact that people living or working in the area have to wait for crews to come out and turn on the pump to drain the water.

"It's ridiculous. Totally ridiculous,” Porobil said. “It's 2017, automate it. When the water gets to a certain level, have the pumps come on."

Cedric Grant, the executive Director of the New Orleans Sewage and Water Board says that's in the works.

"Give me about a year to get that done, we're going to do some adjustments so we can get the updates in a more timely rate, but I'd say in a year we'll have automation there,” Grant said.

The delay in draining the flood waters today came from an electrical problem.

"A fuse blew and the pumps weren't able to operate,” Grant said. “As soon as we were able to replace it we were able to put the system back in order and it's dry now.”

Even when everything is running smoothly, Grant says residents should still expect some flooding.

"Truth of the matter is any rain like we had yesterday you can expect it will be flooded in certain areas until the system can catch up,” Grant said.

As for Porobil, she has her own solution to take care of the problem until the automated system is installed in 2018.

"Give us the key, We'll push the button,” Porobil said.

The Sewerage and Water Board says they are monitoring the pump station now, as we're expecting more rain throughout the weekend.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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