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New Orleans streets flood as rain comes heavy and fast; S&WB says turbine went offline

“We all know that there is just a certain level if it comes down too hard too fast there’s only so much the system can handle at one time."

NEW ORLEANS — Heavy rain dumped more water on New Orleans than the pump system could handle Wednesday morning, causing street flooding in several neighborhoods.

Three to five inches of rain fell in the already soggy New Orleans Metro Area over the course of an hour or two, according to Meteorologist Alexandra Cranford. Brother Martin reported nearly 5 inches on their rain gauge and about 3.5 inches was reported in downtown New Orleans. The ground was already saturated from Tropical Storm Cristobal over the weekend. 

The Sewerage and Water Board admitted that another Turbine went offline during the storm, hurting an already crippled drainage system.

S&WB Executive Director Ghassan Korban said that Turbine 4 tripped offline. He said as we head into the heart of hurricane season, the city's system is as weakened as it has been in some time.

"It was more rain than our system could handle," admitted Korban. "Our pumps were operational, but at 8:52, T4 (turbine 4) tripped off line. The loss of T4 slowed our ability to drain the city, but the street flooding had already begun."

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Councilman Joe Giarrusso said there is a public works meeting scheduled for Thursday where he expects the S&WB to answer questions on what happened today and what needs to be done to protect the city from future flooding.

“We all know that there is just a certain level if it comes down too hard too fast there’s only so much the system can handle at one time,” Giarrusso said during a call in with the Eyewitness News. “And with that major band and another behind it there was just a lot of water at one time.”

The flash flood warning for our area has ended. Meteorologists say we could see a few scattered showers for the rest of the day, but nothing nearly as serious as the rainfall we saw this morning.

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