Coastal Desk

Southeast Louisiana is sinking under the waves faster than any coastal landscape in the world. With so much at stake for Louisiana and the nation, WWNO has made coastal news a priority.

Since mid-2014 our Coastal Desk reporting team has been producing frequent news reports and in-depth features covering coastal erosion and restoration; hurricane protection; offshore energy and other coastal businesses; wildlife and fisheries impacts; and coastal communities and culture.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Coypu Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and local listeners.

Subscribe to the Coastal Desk as a podcast:

1. Open iTunes

2. Go to the File Menu, click on Subscribe to Podcast…

3. Enter this URL: http://wwno.org/podcasts/70174/rss.xml

And that’s it! New episodes download automatically.

www.nhc.noaa.gov

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.

Travis Lux / WWNO

New Orleans is in a waiting game as the Gulf Coast braces for Hurricane Harvey to make landfall in Texas Friday night. City officials have not called for evacuations, but coastal parishes are under flood advisories. Vermillion Parish has called for voluntary evacuations and parts of Cameron Parish are under mandatory evacuation.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Under overcast skies, officials are urging caution, not panic, ahead of heavy weekend rains. The city has been on-edge since failures of the pumping system contributed to widespread flooding on Aug. 5.

Since then, some public officials have been fired— and some, but not all, of the pumps have been fixed.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the city remains vulnerable.

Della Hasselle

Traumatic experiences like major floods can have psychological ramifications. Since Hurricane Katrina, FEMA has sent money to Louisiana to provide counseling for survivors struggling with poor mental health every time a disaster hits the state.

A program called Louisiana Spirit has been providing that service to victims near Baton Rouge since the floods last August. But as the one-year anniversary approaches, the program is winding down — leaving some victims in the lurch.

Kmusser / Creative Commons

Since rainfall blanketed southeast Louisiana in August 2016, residents have wondered how the state can protect its people from future floods. Answering that question begins with understanding the geography we live in.

Flood Recovery: Not-So-Rapid Rehousing

Aug 15, 2017
Molly Peterson

Federal aid helped pay for hotels for thousands of Louisianans after last year's flood. Until May, the short-term program help people find shelter, especially low-income renters. Now a state-managed program is still filling in the gaps, trying to give more permanent homes to families washed out last year — including a single mother in Baton Rouge.

Wallis Watkins

Denham Springs saw some of the worst damage in the August 2016 flood. As the rebuilding continues, the city is developing a long-term recovery plan — one designed by the people who live there. Denham Strong, the city's recovery planning group, gives residents an opportunity to advocate for what they want Denham Springs to look like years from now.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

This week on the Coastal News Roundup, we're talking about the recent floods.

Heavy rains flooded portions of New Orleans last weekend. In the days since, we've learned that there are mechanical problems with the city’s drainage equipment — not only with the pumps, but also with the generators that power them.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The Sewerage and Water Board generator that caught fire this week is back up and running.

 

There are five generators that power the city’s pumping system on the East Bank — all areas west of the Industrial Canal. Only two were working prior to Saturday’s floods.

 

Wednesday night, one of them caught fire and was rendered inoperable for more than 24 hours. That left the city even more vulnerable to flooding, and prompted two days of school closures. On Thursday both Governor John Bel Edwards and Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed emergency declarations as precautionary measures.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The city’s ability to pump water has been diminished once more after a Sewerage and Water Board power generator caught fire Wednesday night.

 

The new outage affects the East Bank of New Orleans — all areas west of the Industrial Canal. That includes neighborhoods like Lakeview, Mid City and Treme, which had already seen the worst of the city’s flooding this weekend.

Pages