It’s Now An Emergency In New Orleans, So Let The No-Bid Contracts Begin!

Now that Mitch Landrieu and his clownshow cronies have officially destroyed the pumping system in New Orleans by burning up the motor on the last functional power turbine left on the city’s East Bank of the Mississippi, leaving the Big Easy wide open to catastrophic flooding at the next major rain storm because there is no reliable power source for most of the city’s pumps, it’s time to push the panic button and declare an emergency.

Which Gov. John Bel Edwards has now done.

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.”

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.

That last bit is the important part – the main regulations which can be circumvented in the case of an emergency involve the requirement for the city to issue RFP’s and take bids. Instead, Landrieu – and Edwards, if he wants in on the deal – can let no-bid contracts to make repairs to the city’s pumping system.

One such contract might go to a French firm.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called Thursday (Aug. 10) for a private, third-party company to run the beleaguered Sewerage & Water Board, expressing anger and frustration at the’s agency’s mishandling of the Aug. 5 flood and its aftermath.

Board members immediately approved Landrieu’s request. The company will also conduct an internal investigation of what went wrong.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how extremely frustrated and angry I am at the inability of the Sewerage & Water Board to communicate clearly and to give accurate information to the public even under the most difficult circumstances so the people of New Orleans can do what they can to protect themselves,” Landrieu said.

S&WB officials said they didn’t know what company would be hired, although an obvious choice may be Veolia, a French conglomerate that is already managing the board’s wastewater treatment plants.

He’s cashiered most of the Sewerage and Water Board’s top executive staff, which essentially makes his choice to take over the city’s pump system impossible to challenge or question.

By the way, here’s an example of Veolia’s work product in dealing with municipal water systems…

FLINT, MI – An engineering firm targeted by the attorney general’s water crisis lawsuit claims city leaders told it to exclude work on lead and copper issues.

Veolia North America issued a statement Thursday, June 23, claiming city officials told them not to focus on issues that would eventually thrust the city into the national spotlight.

Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Wednesday that his office filed a lawsuit in Genesee Circuit Court against Veolia and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, which were hired to conduct engineering studies on the city’s water system.

Veolia, in its Thursday statement, said the accusations are “baseless, entirely unfounded and appears to be intended to distract from the troubling and disturbing realities that have emerged as a result of this tragedy.”

“In fact, when Veolia raised potential lead and copper issues, city officials and representatives told us to exclude it from our scope of work because the city and the EPA were just beginning to conduct lead and copper testing,” the company’s statement said.

City spokeswoman Kristin Moore declined to address Veolia’s accusations, adding the city is eager to learn what is decided in court.

Schuette’s lawsuit accuses Veolia and LAN of professional negligence and public nuisance. Veolia is also accused of fraud.

Some of us would think bringing in the contractor fresh off the Flint water supply debacle might not be all that great an idea. But we don’t live in New Orleans – after all, one can almost taste the future, when pressure builds for a federal bailout of the New Orleans pump system after what the Democrat Party has done to it, just like that party demanded after they’d destroyed the water supply in Flint. Why not use the same contractor?

All’s fair in an emergency, after all.

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