Press Releases

SWBNO preparations for Thursday, April 18 thunderstorms

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 18 2019

The Sewerage and Water Board’s (SWBNO) operations are preparing for heavy rains expected Thursday, April 18, beginning in the early afternoon. The National Weather Service predicts wind gusts in excess of 60 mph, severe thunderstorms and 1-3 inches of rainfall throughout the New Orleans area, with more possible in isolated areas and the chance of hail greater than 1 inch in diameter.

The city’s drainage system has 116 out of 120 pumps available for service. The power interruptions that occurred during the rain event on April 4, were brief and were resolved that day and all pumps and electrical feeders impacted during that event are operational today.

Drainage operations will be fully staffed throughout the storm. Another team of operators will be on call to assist on-duty staff and to monitor unmanned stations and smaller pumps at underpasses.

The five self-generating power turbines at the Carrollton Water Plant are available, as are the utility’s frequency changers and backup generators. This equipment can combine to produce more than enough 25 Hz electrical power to run drainage operations.

The water level in aboveground drainage canals may appear high at times as the system conveys storm water from other parts of the city or collects water from sudden heavy downpours, especially in underpasses. SWBNO responds to varying amounts of storm water that fall in different parts of the city by carefully synchronizing its pumps and power supply to meet the unique circumstances of each storm. Every rain event is different, and each requires a different response.

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