Heavy flooding in the New Orleans area caused by an estimated 8-10 inches of rain over about a three-hour period left many residents wondering if the city's pumps and rain drainage system was even in working condition Saturday. 

People took to social media outlets like Facebook to voice their displeasure with flooding that left people and vehicles stranded on roadways and homes and businesses inundated with standing water. 

Many commented on a perceived inability for the system to handle the rainfall, and also wondered how the city would handle a slow-moving hurricane. 

But New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board Executive Director Cedric Grant told WWL-TV the city's system was in working condition and working at full capacity. That capacity -- which can handle an inch of rain in the first hour of rainfall and a half-inch every hour afterward -- was no match for the rain poured over the area. 

+14 
no.rainfalltotals.080517

"It's going to take some time to catch up," Grant said to WWL-TV. "We're doing everything we can to move the water out of the city, but it's more than the system was designed to take. At the end of the day, we're accustomed to rains that exceed the capacity of the system. We just have to hunker down and get through it." 

At a news conference discussing the city's drainage system further, Grant said he was somewhat frustrated with the public's response because no system could handle what the city was dealt with any faster than it has.

"There is no drainage system in the world that can handle that immediately," he said. "I continue to tell the people what this system can do. it's pretty amazing in that it can do one-inch of rain in the first hour and a half-inch of rain every hour after that."

Grant also said Saturday's rains, as well as similar flooding that happened July 22, are part of the "climate change era" the rest of the country is experiencing, and any upgrade to the city's drainage systems would cost billions of dollars it doesn't have. 

Read WWL-TV's full report here.

Can't see video below? Click here.

 

---