New Orleans under flash flood watch as Harvey heads to Louisiana


National Weather Service projection for Harvey as of Aug. 29.
  • National Weather Service projection for Harvey as of Aug. 29.

With up to 4 inches of rain forecast in New Orleans as Tropical Storm Harvey slowly moves into Louisiana, Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged residents to stay home and off the roads Tuesday, Aug. 29. Some parts of the city got as much as 6 inches of rain yesterday, and a flash flood watch remains through Thursday, as Harvey is expected to move eastward then tick north by Wednesday night.

The city braces for the possibility of more flooding following Aug. 5 floods and the recently publicly revealed compromised pump system. Sewerage & Water Board reports 107 of 120 pumps "are available to be operational in the event of heavy rainfall," according to the city.

Meanwhile, a banner hanging outside pump station No. 1 reads, "I think I can, I think I can."

Two of the system's six pump-powering turbines also are working, with 26 recently installed backup generators in place, and repair crews "working around the clock" to return turbine No. 3 to service.

"While the drainage has continually improved since the August 5 flooding, the City’s drainage and pumping system remains in a state of diminished drainage pumping capacity until turbines and additional pumps are restored," the city added.

Residents will be allowed to keep their cars parked on neutral grounds and on sidewalks to avoid street flooding. (Don't block intersections, don't park on streetcar tracks, and don't park in front of a catch basin.)
Residents also can pick up sandbags at the following New Orleans Fire Department stations: 987 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 2000 Martin Luther King Blvd., 4115 Woodland Ave., 2118 Elysian Fields Ave., and 5403 Read Blvd.

City Hall and all NORD facilities and most schools will remain closed today, including all Orleans, Recovery School District and Archdiocese schools, Delgado, LSU Health Sciences Center, University of New Orleans and Dillard, Loyola, Tulane and Xavier universities.

Aug. 29 also marks the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures. City Hall postponed its annual wreath laying ceremony honoring victims of the storm, and a community march and second line from the Lower 9th Ward also has been postponed.

"Over the past 12 years, we have fought every day to rebuild New Orleans not as she was, but better and stronger than before," Landrieu said in a statement. "Today, we are a resilient city with greater resolve, but we remain vigilant in the face of another threatening storm. While this is a somber day for New Orleanians, the determination and spirit of our people gives us great hope for the future.”

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