PHOTO BY KEVIN ALLMAN
A van drives through Mid-City floodwaters Aug. 5.
One day after a drenching flood
that seemed to catch people, politicians, pumps and all of New Orleans by surprise, city and state officials announced investigations into municipal response, while Sewerage & Water Board president Cedric Grant insisted, "We are dealing with 8 to 10 inches of rain in three hours. It is not going to be able to pump that in an hour.”
Six members of the New Orleans City Council held a press conference this afternoon to announce a special council meeting for 1 p.m. Tuesday to "express their concerns and pose questions to the Sewerage and Water Board and appropriate City officials," according to a statement from the council.
City Councilwoman At-Large Stacy Head, who has been openly critical
of catch basin and utility maintenance in recent weeks, was not at today's meeting and was said to be out of town. Mayor Mitch Landrieu is in Aspen, Colorado, for a security conference, according to Deputy Mayor Ryan Berni, and will be returning to the city Monday.
In addition to the council meeting, State Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, announced he is planning a town hall "to brief the public on state hurricane preparedness and the status of local flood control structures":
"I’ve been in contact with Sen. Yvonne Dorsey (D-Baton Rouge), the Chair of Senate Local and Municipal Affairs, as well as Sen. Norby Chaubert (R-Houma), the Chair of Senate Natural Resources. Between our three committees, we have comprehensive oversight over all the respective response agencies.
The city has a website
"My staff in Baton Rouge has already begun the effort to put together a town hall meeting in New Orleans, with representatives from all these agencies present, to present an overview on the status of our flood control structures, pumping and hurricane preparedness. The time, date and location of this meeting will be published later this week."
to advise residents on cleanup, insurance filings and other post-flood information.
PHOTO BY KEVIN ALLMAN
Residents attempt to direct traffic on flooded Banks Street in New Orleans during the Aug. 5 flood.