Sewerage & Water Board Executive Director Cedric Grant told the New Orleans City Council on Monday that 14 of the 121 pumps in New Orleans were inactive during Saturday's flooding.
Earlier, officials had only acknowledged that eight pumps were out of service.
But the six additional inactive pumps are among 20 so-called constant-duty pumps that operate at a low capacity, S&WB General Superintendent Joe Becker told the council, and they thus had little impact on Saturday's flooding event. All told, the system uses 121 pumps, of which 101 are high capacity; eight of those were out of service at the time of the flooding.
Cedric Grant (who just said he'll step down as S&WB director): 4 of 13 pumps were out of service at the Lakeview pump station pic.twitter.com/4XjoXpEi6I— Max Muth (@maksumuto) August 8, 2017
Grant was speaking to the council during a special hearing about 90 minutes after he announced his resignation over what he said was misleading information from his agency.
Addressing the initial reports about the pumps, Becker initially said all active pumping stations were working at "max capacity."
"All pump stations were working at the capacity they had available to them," he clarified.
One station was operating at 63 percent of capacity because a large pump was out of service, he said.
Councilman Jason Williams, who was leading the discussion, suggested Becker was being evasive.
"This is already bad, there's no reason to make it any worse," Williams said.
New Orleans' City Council has set a special meeting for 1 p.m. Tuesday to seek responses fro…
Of the 14 pumps that were inactive, four were located in Lakeview, one of the hardest hit areas.
Three power turbines were also out of service, according to Grant's report. In his resignation announcement, Grant said "there were some power generation issues that impacted our ability to fight the flood at its highest capacity."
Becker said the power issues diminished some of the pumping stations' capacity.