New Orleans is bracing for the heavy rains generated by Hurricane Harvey with a pumping system that is still not fully operational.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu held a press conference today, saying he's confident the pumps will handle the deluge. He says crews have been working 24-hours a day to repair pumps that failed during heavy rain earlier this month. Some neighborhoods sustained several feet of standing water. He says the system is now operating at 92 percent.
"We have more than enough to handle what we think is coming our way based on the forecast right now," says Landrieu.
On Saturday, Gov. John Bel Edwards said he is worried about Harvey's potential to drop massive amounts of rain in the state after the storm leaves Texas. Edwards says, "Eventually it is going to move. It could move due north, it could move northeast. We don't know yet, and so we don't want people to become complacent and stop paying attention and let their guard down."
New Orleans is expecting the heaviest rain to hit Tuesday – the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina – and Wednesday. Parts of southwestern Louisiana are under volunteer evacuation orders and flash flood watches. Some areas have already recorded 15 inches of rain.
New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison is asking residents to be careful where they leave their cars when the rain hits. He says high-water vehicles are in place for emergency access.
The New Orleans Fire Department has so far handed out 35,000 sandbags.