NEW ORLEANS - The city's challenged pump and drainage system is operating at 92 percent capacity as Tropical Storm Nate approaches and Mayor Mitch Landrieu declares a state of emergency.
Landrieu said with a forecast that has the storm moving quickly and not dropping more than 4-6 inches of rain over a prolonged period of time, he doesn't plan to call for any evacuations. He advises people to 'shelter in place' and make sure that you have a 3 to 5 day supply of water, food and medicine in case the power goes out.
The beleaguered and aging drainage and pump system that has seen big street flooding events recently on July 22, August 5 and Oct. 2 could face a challenge with Nate, though the system is expected to move quickly and to not drop an inordinate amount of rain.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu said that the Sewerage and Water Board and its contractors are working around the clock to repair the pumps. As of Thursday, 108 of 120 pumps were operational.
Landrieu said there is a good chance there could be standing water at certain points and that citizens know the flood-prone areas and the alternate routes.
He also said that 14 catch basin-cleaning trucks were aggressively cleaning catch basins in the problem areas of the city.
NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison added that residents should not drive through flooded streets. He said that in addition to being a danger to the driver, the vehicles often push water into nearby homes and businesses.
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