Press Releases

Thursday, April 4 rain event update

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 4 2019

The City of New Orleans experienced its first major rain event of the season today, Thursday, April 4, a storm that swiftly dropped as much as 4 inches of water on several neighborhoods. The rain was heaviest around midday, with more than 2 inches falling in just an hour and 15 minutes.

The Sewerage and Water Board was well prepared to respond to the forecasted weather. Its five power turbines were available for service, with frequency changers and EMDs ready if needed. Of the city’s 120 drainage pumps, 115 were operational.

After the rain subsided this afternoon, we took a preliminary look at how the pumping and power systems responded: what went right, what went wrong and how we can be even better prepared for the next rainstorm.

The drainage system responded appropriately throughout most of the storm. Around 1:55 p.m.*, however, an electrical feeder lost power, temporarily knocking out four pumps at different stations around the city: Drainage Pumping Station 6 on the Jefferson Parish line, 7 near City Park, 3 near Florida Avenue, and 4 in Gentilly. The SWBNO team acted quickly, turning on enough additional pumps in about 35 minutes to fully respond to the continuing rainfall. By 3 p.m., water levels in drainage canals were rapidly falling throughout New Orleans.

We will immediately address any mechanical or electrical problems that may have contributed to today’s events. We will also review how our team responded and look for ways to improve.

In the meantime, please stay safe. If you still find standing water over the course of the next few days, please report the area to the city for further investigation of the conditions of nearby catch basins. 

*An earlier version of this release incorrectly stated the time a feeder went down on Thursday. It has been corrected above.

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