New Orleans Drainage Is So Bad It Is Hurting Jefferson Parish

New Orleans’s drainage system sucks. We are just now learning how bad the drainage system is.

In March, the Sewerage and Water Board revealed that all four turbines that generate 25 cycle power failed. That unusual type of electricity powers more than half of New Orleans’s pumps.

From WWL-TV:

The Sewerage and Water Board declared an emergency in March after losing all four turbines that generate the unusual type of power that runs the majority of the city’s drainage pumping capacity, but Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office says he was never informed.

The previously unreported failure comes to light as Landrieu says he is continuing to learn more about power problems that plagued the drainage system during the flash floods of July 22 and Aug. 5.

The power failure is similar to the one last week that led Landrieu to declare a state of emergency and warn New Orleanians that their city was vulnerable to flooding in a modest summer thunderstorm.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu says he was never notified about the power loss. Which begs the question, what exactly does Mitch Landrieu do as mayor of New Orleans?

Meanwhile, the city also can’t clear storm drains and catch basins. Three out of the five trucks that vacuum catch basins are out of service.


New Orleans has five vacuum trucks, the vehicles that pull muck and trash out of clogged drainage catch basins. As of last week, the city was down to just two trucks to tackle a backlog of cleaning work. Some 2,500 catch basins are on a city list to be serviced.

Congested catch basins were identified as a contributing factor in the Aug. 5 flooding that put water in homes, businesses and vehicles in Mid-City, Lakeview, 7th Ward, Gentilly and the Central Business District. But well before then, catch basin maintenance was made a priority in the city budget. The City Council set aside $3 million for the Department of Public Works in 2017 to catch up on its catch basin issues.

So the pumps don’t work and neither do the vacuum trucks. Again, what exactly does Mitch Landrieu do as mayor of New Orleans?

The drainage situation in New Orleans is terrible. In fact, it’s so terrible that parts of Jefferson Parish could flood as a result.

Drainage is one of the top issues in a city below sea level. The other major issue in a city is public safety and we’ve already documented how much of a failure Mitch Landrieu is on that issue. It seems that Mitch Landrieu just isn’t very good at this whole mayor thing in general. The problem is that more than just New Orleans is impacted by Landrieu’s incompetence.

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