As New Orleans residents continue to fret about the risk of enduring the height of hurricane season with a severely compromised drainage system, Mayor Mitch Landrieu acknowledged Sunday morning that the system has "never been fully operational".
Landrieu said that in addition to the 17 known pumps that are now not operational, he said there are likely capacity and maintenance issues with numerous 103 pumps that help drain the city (areas in New Orleans East, the Lower Ninth Ward and Algiers are not affected by this current pump situation).
The city scrambled to fix fire-damaged equipment at a power plant and shore up its drainage system, less than a week after a flash flood from torrential rain overwhelmed the city's pumping system and inundated many neighborhoods.
A turbine that supplies power to New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board's drainage pumping stations has been repaired, according to city officials.
"As citizens we need to hold people more accountable", said Douglas. Sewerage and Water Board officials revealed this week that three of them - plus several pumps - were not working during the recent flooding.
Now third party experts are working on creating a "good and trustworthy" flow of information.
Twenty-two new generators are being hooked up to the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board power system to augment backup power through the rest of this hurricane season.
A total of 103 out of the city's 120 pumps are now operational, the mayor said. Those that are out of service are being evaluated for emergency repairs. (Three already were down at the time of August 5 flooding.) Twelve generators arrived today, and eight more are expected to arrive tomorrow.
In a Friday news conference, Landrieu also said more generators are being brought in as a precaution to ensure the pumps keep running.
That same night, Cedric Grant, the executive director of the Sewerage and Water Board assured everyone that the pumps were working to full capacity and he dismissed claims from the public that a key pumping station in Lakeview wasn't working.
Heavy flooding in New Orleans drove Louisiana Gov. Gov. John Bel Edwards to declare a preemptive state of emergency Friday (Aug. 11) as more rain is expected to drench the area.
This fall, New Orleans votes for a new mayor, and candidates are weighing in.
The mayor conceded that not all of the pumping stations were manned at the time of last week's flooding event.
"We have to have a commission of citizens to do oversite", said Scurlock. "So let me be clear: the buck ultimately stops with me". "I own it. I accept it and I am taking responsibility to fix it".