A local college and several businesses were facing recovery and cleanup work Sunday after heavy rain inundated much of New Orleans on Saturday.
The LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry, near Bayou St. John, announced it would be closed Monday because of a power outage that occurred when the basements of the school's buildings took on about 18 inches of water.
A number of businesses throughout Mid-City were also forced to close as owners dealt with the soggy mess left behind by the thunderstorm.
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The Sewerage & Water Board reported that the storm dumped as much as 4.56 inches of rain in some spots in less than an hour early Saturday afternoon.
Many places in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish reported between 2 and 3 inches.
Quick heavy rains poured across metro New Orleans Saturday afternoon, dumping several inches…
By comparison, in the “1,000-year flood” that overwhelmed the Baton Rouge area last summer, meteorologists estimated the rainfall rates were over 3 inches an hour in some places — high enough to cause intense flash flooding.
But the 2016 storms continued for days, whereas the rain in New Orleans lasted just a couple of hours. Even so, S&WB officials said the weather event brought more rain than the local drainage system can handle.
Pumps in New Orleans are designed to be able to drain an inch of rain during the first hour of a storm, and half an inch for every hour after that. If rainfall totals exceed those thresholds, water pools in low-lying areas until the pumps catch up.
There was widespread street flooding Saturday, and several underpasses were completely closed for hours.
The rainfall flooded basements of the main buildings on the LSU Health Dentistry School campus at 1100 Florida Ave., officials said in a news release. They said the storm caused damage to “critical electrical infrastructure,” affecting telephone and computer networks.
The LSU Health New Orleans School of Dentistry will be closed Monday after a power outage ca…
Classes and patient appointments scheduled for Monday at the E.E. Jeansonne Clinic Building were canceled. The school said patients would be contacted to reschedule appointments. Patients with appointments at the Dental and Medical Primary Care Clinic at 1111 Florida Ave. will be seen as normal Monday.
It was unclear whether normal operations would resume at all buildings Tuesday.
Several businesses in Mid-City were also recovering after the torrential rainfall.
Brian Knighten, the owner of the Broad Theater, 636 N. Broad St., said he had to cancel several film screenings Saturday evening after rainwater flooded the lobby and parking lot. The inside of the business got between 10 and 12 inches, he said.
In photographs circulated on social media Saturday, one customer could be seen perched on a barstool by the front counter as water covered the floor around her.
“It was very unexpected, and it came in very fast,” Knighten said.
In terms of damage, Knighten said, only an amplifier got ruined by the rainwater. But some other businesses and neighbors weren’t so lucky.
Bernard Newell, chairman of the Roy E. Glapion Jr. building owned by the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, two blocks from the theater, said patrons were enjoying lunch in the building when the water started to come inside.
Several people ran outside to find their cars had been flooded, he said Sunday, gesturing to a waterline that had formed on the inside of the door.
“The water never comes this far up,” Newell said.
Soggy boxes tied in plastic bags and drenched furniture could be seen Sunday sitting outside Ricard’s Inc., a paper and chemical company on North Broad that neighbors said also had flooded.