infrastructure

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana

Mayoral candidates Desiree Charbonnet and Latoya Cantrell discussed water issues at a debate Wednesday night.

 

But it wasn’t much of a debate. Turns out, they actually agree on more than they disagree when it comes to water issues.

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.

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

Gov. John Bel Edwards toured flood damage in New Orleans Monday. Edwards and Mayor Mitch Landrieu spoke to business owners and residents in the Treme where cleanup is underway.

Windell Bean’s family has owned their home on St. Ann for 53 years. Other than Katrina, the house hasn’t flooded since 1978. That is until Saturday, when it took on 4 inches of water.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

A federal audit says FEMA should stop sending money to the City of New Orleans for repairing road and water-system damage sustained during hurricanes Katrina and Rita almost 12 years ago.

 

FEMA disagrees with the findings, and the city plans to press forward with repairs.

 

In order to get money from FEMA to repair its streets and sewer lines, city officials had to prove the damage was caused directly by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After reviewing documents and consulting with engineers, FEMA agreed. It pledged to give the city $2.04 billion in December 2015.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The outlook for the shipping industry under President Donald Trump, so far, has been a bit of a mixed bag. Some policies will be good for business, others might hamper it.

 

Despite that, the CEO of the Port of New Orleans says the future looks good.

 

Since taking office, Trump has pulled out of an international trade agreement and considered tariffs on certain imports. Both of these moves could mean less stuff flows through US ports.

 

GNO Inc. CEO Michael Hecht stands in front of the Louis Armstrong Airport.
Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

Two transportation amendments are on this Saturday’s ballot. Amendments 1 and 2 would allow existing state revenues to be used for new roads and bridges, and to repair existing ones, without creating new taxes.

No one is against better roads, bridges and other infrastructure. How to fund it is the issue. Amendment 1 would allow oil and gas revenue from the state’s "Rainy Day Fund" to be used for transportation projects.

WEFTEC

The Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference kicked off this past Saturday in New Orleans, and continues through Wednesday, October 1. On Monday afternoon, a new report called "Navigating to New Shores: Seizing the Future for Sustainable and Resilient U.S. Freshwater Resources" was released at the Morial Convention Center.

Federal Water Projects Bill Funds Levees And Flood Gates

Jun 10, 2014
Tobin / Wikimedia

Capping a rare instance of congressional compromise, President Barack Obama signed a $12.3 billion water projects bill Tuesday, financing improvements ranging from a harbor expansion in Boston to levees and flood control gates in Louisiana.

Obama singled out two of the bill's main negotiators for praise — Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter.

The new law will pay for 34 new projects over the next 10 years. Its price tag is half the amount of the last water projects bill seven years ago.

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