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State of Emergency Declared For New Orleans as Flood Threat Continues, Schools Closed

10 Aug 2017, 8:57 pm

Louisiana’s governor declared a state of emergency in New Orleans Thursday in response to flash flooding throughout the city of New Orleans and the recent malfunction of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board’s (S&WB) power plant.

Heavy rain over the weekend overwhelmed New Orleans’s pump stations and many neighborhoods were inundated with waist deep water. In addition, an internal fire earlier this week damaged equipment at a power plant, affecting the cities pumping stations.

Gov. John Bel Edwards describes the emergency declaration as a precautionary measure.

“This is a serious situation, and it was out of an abundance of caution that I issued an emergency declaration” said Gov. Edwards. “I want to ensure everyone in New Orleans that they have the full support of the state. We will do everything possible to work with Mayor Landrieu and city officials to respond effectively to any flooding that might occur and to prevent any threat to our citizens and property. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness stands ready to deploy state resources as needed.”

New Orleans will experience scattered showers and thunderstorms through the weekend– typical for August. However, with the reduced capacity of the pumps, one to two inches of rain in an hour may lead to problems.

“We are at risk if we have a massive rain event that comes up at the last minute and creates the kind of flooding we had,” said Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans Mayor. “The power we have available to us now will not be enough to pump the city out in the time needed.”

All public schools in New Orleans will be closed through Friday as a precaution.

The state of emergency continues through September 3.

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