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Sewerage and Water Board says pump delay caused water to back up

You can help prevent potential flooding on your street by cleaning the drains in front of your house before Tuesday’s expected heavy rains.

NEW ORLEANS — Sunday’s heavy rains brought localized street flooding to parts of the New Orleans metro area. 

According to the Sewerage and Water Board, about two inches of rain fell on the Lakeview neighborhood. 

That left parts of Fleur de Lis Boulevard underwater and not passable. 

Cole Gautreau lives on nearby 36th Street. 

“It comes up almost up to the top of the median even,” Gautreau said. “The houses are at least three feet up, but it gets pretty close some times. It was up in my grass, for sure.” 

Lovie Geraci says her husband had a hard time getting back to their home on Bellaire Drive. 

“He told me that when he came back that, I wasn’t sure if I could get off of the street here, 38th was flooded, then I went down to 39th and 40th and all this had plenty of water,” Geraci said. 

The water kept rising even after the rain slacked off a bit.

Turns out, Drainage Pump Station 12 near the West End didn’t turn on right away. 

The Sewerage and Water Board confirms one of the more than 60-year-old turbine generators used to power the pumps in the city had to be restarted due to a malfunctioning valve that delayed the operation of DPS 12.

“They’re always so slow with the pumps,” Gautreau said. “It took them about an hour, 2 hours before they actually turned on the pumps.” 

Gautreau knows the problems with DPS 12 all too well. 

It was out completely during last year’s Hurricane Ida, and his duplex flooded. 

“Five and a half inches (of water),” he said. “I had to gut four feet the whole way.” 

With the trees shedding this time of year, many of the local catch basins are clogged with leaves and pine needles. 

You can help prevent potential flooding on your street by cleaning the drains in front of your house before Tuesday’s expected heavy rains.

According to the SWBNO, there will be 95 of the utility’s 99 drainage pumps available for this weather event. 

Details of pump status: 

DPS 6 at Metairie Road: I Pump is out of service due to pump bearing issue. Impellor shipped to manufacturers facility in Wisconsin. Return to service expected Q2 2023. 12 additional drainage pumps are available at this station, plus two constant-duty pumps 

DPS 10 at Haynes Blvd. and Shubrick Ave. at Citrus Canal: No. 1 Pump out of service, 3 additional drainage pumps are available at this station. 

DPS 13 near Tall Timbers Algiers: No. 4 Pump on standby for Emergency Use Only. 5 additional drainage pumps are available at this station, plus one constant-duty pump 

DPS 16 in New Orleans East: No. 2 pump is out of service due to a coupling issue. 

3 additional drainage pumps are available at this station. 

Underpass Stations: All pumps are in service. No reported issues at any underpass stations. 

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