New Orleans Officials Urge Caution Ahead Of Heavy Weekend Rains

Aug 24, 2017

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.

"If you get 5 to 9 inches in a small area in a short period of time – even if the pumping station is pumping at full capacity we’re still going to have problems," says Landrieu. "There are no circumstances where the people of the city of New Orleans should expect to be dry all of the time."

When the storm hit on Aug. 5, the city was inundated when its pumping system failed to work. Since then, city agencies have been overhauled, some officials were fired and some pumps were fixed – but one is still offline. 

Now the city is asking for help from FEMA, the National Guard and the state as it braces for another storm. 

Director of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, Aaron Miller, says residents should prepare for flooding. 

"Right now there is no need to panic," says Miller. "We're encouraging public to prepare as we would in any other weather event."

But he wouldn’t go so far as to say the city was ready for the rain, only that it's more prepared than it was a month ago.

Backup generators have been brought in, as well as emergency supplies for first responders.