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New Orleans Facing New Flood Danger After Pump Station Fire

In an early morning press conference just before 3am, Mayor Mitch Landrieu warned residents of the East Bank of New Orleans of more potential flooding. Late Wednesday, there was a fire at a turbine that powers most of the flood pumps in that part of the city. Those pumps could be non-functioning if the final backup power source fails. The Mayor urged residents to move cars to higher ground and protect their homes.

Here is the full statement from the Mayor’s office:

NEW ORLEANS—Last night, the Sewerage & Water Board lost service to one of its power turbines, which provides power to a majority of the City’s pumping stations serving the East Bank of New Orleans. As a result, the system’s capacity to drain storm water from the streets is diminished further for the East Bank of New Orleans, west of the Industrial Canal. This does not affect New Orleans East, Lower Ninth Ward and Algiers.

Due to potential rainfall forecasted by National Weather Service over the course of the next day, the City is urging residents in the affected area to move their vehicles to higher ground, take necessary actions to protect personal property, and stay off of roadways during rainstorms unless an emergency makes it absolutely necessary to do so.

Pumping stations in Algiers, New Orleans East and Lower Ninth Ward are operating off of a separate power source and therefore are not impacted by this outage.

At this time, drinking water and sewerage services for all of the city are not affected by this outage.

Crews are on site now working to repair the down turbine and secure backup power torestore power to the pumping stations.

Due to the potentially severe weather that could result from high water, residents should call 911 to report street flooding and life-threatening emergencies. Residents are advised to remain indoors during heavy rainfall.

The City will keep residents updated through email alerts and the @NOLAReady Twitter account.

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