METAIRIE, La. — Jefferson Parish Emergency Officials say they and the parish's pumps are ready for hurricane season. This year, almost 300 employees are ready to man and operate the 70 pump stations.

Jose Puente is a Resident Operator at the Jefferson Parish Suburban Pump station in Metairie.

"There's always different experiences that happen here," Puente said. "There are different rain events, it's totally a different experience and not everything is the same."

For 11 years, he's helped people stay above water during heavy rain events. Ready to go at a moments notice, Puente says it's a job he takes seriously.

"I'm always on-call, 24/7," he said. "Holidays, no matter what it is, if it rains on Christmas I have to come down and work so people don't flood. It's fun, interesting and it's not a common job."

The eight pumps at the suburban pump station are part of a much larger network of 187 pumps in the parish. With hurricane season upon us, leaders say their system is ready.

"We're currently operating at 99% capacity," said Parish President Mike Yenni. "We'll be at 100% in early July when we complete upgrades to our Elmwood pumps."

"I'm pretty confident about everything so people should be too honestly," Puente said.

Even if the worst should hit, 14 pump stations have a Safe Room. Thirteen of them are elevated structures (one is attached to a pump station) and were built after Katrina, so pump operators and other officials can safely stay and run the pumps instead of evacuate.

"The safe room is for a Category 5 hurricane," Puente said. "In case water should rise up during a bad storm this is where we're supposed to come and try to keep the canals as low as we can."

And as people keep their eyes on the forecasts for the next several months, Puente is doing the same. And he assures people in Jefferson Parish they'll do what they can to keep them safe.

"We're ready to go," he said. "I know how I keep my engines around here and in good top shape. I have no issues with them."

President Yenni says they're also working with Orleans Parish to make sure everything is good to go with Pump Station 6, the one near the 17th Street Canal. While they don't operate it, they have access to it and have an employee who can help monitor it when needed.