HARAHAN, La. — In Jefferson Parish, pump station workers were ready if needed as heavy rain flooded the street. Some pumps were turned on, and we were there to watch it all unfold.
Operators like Adam Mataya were ready as the rain started falling.
"Right now we're looking really good," he said looking at monitors. "We're on top of our game, we're way ahead."
Mataya runs the "Pump to the River" station which drains rainwater from Harahan and River Ridge to the Mississippi.
"It's a great job, and a lot goes into it," Mataya said. "A whole lot goes into keeping this place dry."
Thursday's storms moved quickly, but Mataya watched everything closely before, during and after always responding when appropriate.
"We record the rainfall per hour, and we record the canal elevation per hour," he described. "We start a pump when the canal elevation starts to come up and it gets past 15.5 we immediately start a pump. It depends on how much rainfall we have and we'll make the decision on if we should start one pump or two pumps. If the rainfall is consistent and continues to fall we may even go to three pumps to maintain the canal elevation."
Two of the three pumps at this station were turned on Thursday. Even though the rain didn't last long, Mataya says things ran smooth.
"I never realized how much went into it before I became a pump operator," the 10-year employee said. "But a lot of time, a lot of planning and a lot of money goes into this system. I believe we're better prepared than we have ever been before."