New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has requested the resignations of four top officials, including the director and the top engineer at the municipal water utility, after a historic rainstorm flooded homes and exposed critical weaknesses in the city’s unique drainage pumping operation.
Meanwhile, with more heavy thunderstorms predicted through the weekend, property owners cleared damage from the deluge and braced for another potential onslaught.
The breakdown Saturday in the drainage system, which led to the flooding of “a couple hundred” properties, highlighted the challenges posed by New Orleans’ aging infrastructure — a problem mirrored in roads, bridges, water pipes and sewer plants across the nation, Landrieu told CNN.
“Because of the visuals of (Hurricane) Katrina, people keep thinking New Orleans is different than everybody else,” the mayor said. “It is absolutely true that the infrastructure in this country is crumbling at a scary pace, and what you just witnessed was infrastructure … that was unable to keep up with our threats.”
Flooding early this year in Houston and just this week in San Antonio offers proof New Orleans is not the only major city that faces a flood threat, Landrieu said. He drew a distinction between Saturday’s rain and 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, during which breaches in federal levees led to the flooding of some 200,000 properties.
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SOURCE: CNN, Michelle Krupa