Friday, August 11, 2017

Another example of government incompetence and corruption in a Democrat run city...New Orleans. Which corroruptocrats got all the post Katrina money? Didn't we hear this story about the levee's?

John Bel Edwards declares state of emergency over New Orleans flooding concerns

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency Thursday (Aug. 10) as a precautionary measure, in the event that the state has to help with flooding in New Orleans over the next few days.  
"If we get the heavier expected rainfall, time will be of the essence," Edwards said at a press conference with Mayor Mitch Landrieu Thursday morning. "We are working well together. Obviously this is a serious situation, but it is not something to be panicked about." 
New Orleans pumps crisis and state of emergency: Live updates
Live updates of New Orleans drainage pumps crisis.

The emergency declaration is retroactive. It runs from Aug. 5 -- when the first round of flooding started this past weekend -- to Sept. 3. The governor can terminate the order early if he wants. 
Edwards and the state government are providing 14 2-megawatt generators to the city that will stay in New Orleans for the remainder of hurricane season. The Louisiana National Guard could also assist with flood respond if that becomes necessary. Landrieu has also declared a state of emergency in New Orleans, which allows city government to circumvent some regulations to respond more quickly to a disaster. 
Gov. Edwards assisting Landrieu on potential flooding
The governor is probably look at declaring a state of emergency.

Early Thursday morning, Landrieu announced that the city lacks the backup power to run pumping stations west of the Industrial Canal that help prevent flooding on the east bank of New Orleans during rain events. The outage does not affect Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans East and Algiers, according to Landrieu. 
Still, several parts of the city will be vulnerable to storms five days after widespread, damaging floods affected several neighborhoods. Many New Orleans residents are still recovering from that event that damaged vehicles, businesses and homes. 
"We are currently running on our last backup power source," Landrieu said during the press conference. "If all the power from Entergy continues -- and we expect that it will -- we will be able to handle any typical rainfall." 
Landrieu said he first called Edwards about the power outage at 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning. "Immediately, as he has always done, he pledged his continued and aggressive support," Landrieu said of Edwards.  
The Sewerage and Water Board could restore power by the end of the day, the mayor said Thursday morning, but numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected Thursday afternoon
How New Orleans pumps are powered -- and what's broken now
The Carrollton power plant has lost four of its five turbines to generate power for its drainage system, leaving the city one mishap away from possible catastrophe.

New Orleans drainage crisis: Damaged turbine has been fixed but not online yet, mayor says

The repairs to a damaged New Orleans turbine that powers much of the city's drainage capacity were successful Thursday night (Aug. 10), but the turbine is not online yet, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at a press conference Friday morning. 
Crews will be patching the turbine into the Sewerage and Water Board's power supply gradually Friday, he said.
The city also upped its emergency request for generators to 26, he said. Six arrived Thursday night. Twelve more are expected Friday and another eight by Sunday from Miami.
The generators will be used to backup the water and sewer systems, too. Those were not affected by the power outage caused by the turbine damage, Landrieu said.
For more details, follow live coverage of the crisis.
Live updates of New Orleans drainage pumps crisis.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu should own the S&WB failures: Opinion

Mayor Mitch Landrieu tours some of the New Orleans neighborhoods that flooded in the Aug. 5, 2017, rainstorm.  (Photo by G. Andrew Boyd, | The Times-Picayune)
Mayor Mitch Landrieu tours some of the New Orleans neighborhoods that flooded in the Aug. 5, 2017, rainstorm. (Photo by G. Andrew Boyd, | The Times-Picayune)
The flood-soaked masses, if not yet us ink-stained wretches, are howling for Mayor Mitch Landrieu's head after his Sewerage & Water Board and Department of Public Works imploded this week in trying to carry out the basic mission of catching rain and moving it out of the streets as fast as possible.
Some top officials have resigned or retired to avoid being fired or pilloried. A lot of people -- who knows how many -- think the mayor also should step down or at least go through one of those "Game of Thrones" walks of shame with the citizenry flinging pieces of sheetrock and soggy insulation at him.
Landrieu must carry a lion's share of responsibility here. He appointed public works director Mark Jernigan, who apparently never got around to using $3 million earmarked for catch basin repair and maintenance. The mayor also maneuvered Cedric Grant into his role of executive director of the Sewerage & Water Board as a way to overhaul an agency that has been described "as a den for contract-peddling and sweetheart deals for those with the right connections."
S&WB didn't want us to know what's broken: Editorial
The problem goes beyond miscommunication. The S&WB is in the habit of routinely withholding information that is vital to public safety.

Landrieu pushed for the restructuring of the S&WB board of directorsthat reduced the number of members from 13 to 11, eliminated three seats reserved for sitting City Council members and added an eighth mayoral appointment.
Landrieu couched the changes as a commitment to overhaul the S&WB in exchange for the City Council's approval of 10 percent increases in sewer and water service bills every year, leading to a doubling of rates by 2020.
The mayor didn't get everything he wanted, but he got enough that he has to own the Sewerage & Water Board failures more than anyone else. The buck stops at his desk.
Everything seemed to be going fine until it wasn't. And then it seemed as though the Sewerage & Water Board and Department of Works were little more than Potemkin villages, formidable looking from the outside but hollow within.
Landrieu said he was as shocked as anyone to discover what was going on behind the curtain.
But the mayor's version took a hit late Thursday (Aug. 10) when Sewerage & Water Board president pro-tem Scott Jacobs announced his resignation and criticized Landrieu for blaming employees when the mayor was well aware of all the problems before the storms hit.
If the public is angry with anyone, Jacobs said it should be at the Landrieu administration "for not saying years ago, 'You are at risk.' This is not the first time we've had turbines down. This time, we got caught."
Trust went down the drain when the flood waters didn't: Opinion
The political science definition of trust is the "judgment of citizens that the system and the political incumbents are responsive, and will do what is right even in the absence of constant scrutiny."

Jacobs, who was appointed by Landrieu, told the Advocate that, "City Hall has known for years that drainage is inadequate. I'm disappointed that instead of standing up and saying this is a problem, and now [is the] time to deal with it, we're going to shoot a civil servant an hour until this problem is resolved."
Jacobs did not explain why he or other members of the board hadn't taken the initiative to warn the public. 
Landrieu issued a statement saying he was "surprised" by the comments.
"There's obviously a lot of passion, anger, and frustration stemming from these events," the statement said. "My commitment to reforming SWB has been unwavering, and I stand by that record working with the board. No one can say with a straight face that we have not worked hard and successfully secured record amounts for infrastructure and spoken almost weekly about the need for more, often specifically for drainage."
Landrieu also went on WWL-TV to answer questions about the problems exposed in the city's flood control systems.
"First of all, if you go back to 1992, when the city asked the public to pass a partial fee because we didn't have money for drainage, the public said no," Landrieu said. "That's what began stressing the system out, and the level of deferred maintenance. And, by the way, you have that everywhere in the city, relating to every piece of infrastructure.
"So, as I said when people want to do the after-action report, I'll take my hits, Cedric will take his hits, everybody else will. But at the end of the day, the public has to say, also as well, that you cannot have the resources necessary if you don't have the right amount of money."
This is all true, but it also is the most politically tone deaf thing anyone has said about the flooding since Grant blamed it on climate change. And it speaks to Jacobs' criticism that the mayor and others did not do enough to let the public know the danger it was in.
"If you want a 1967 Chevy and you have a mechanic used to working on it and you ask him if it's working like a 1967 Chevy, he's going to say yes," Jacobs said. "The fault lies with those of us who didn't yell loud enough at the board, and at City Hall who didn't yell about investing in the kind of system that we need to have to survive the coming years."
Tim Morris is an opinions columnist at | The Times-Picayune. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @tmorris504

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