Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration is looking to bring in a private company to temporarily run the Sewerage & Water Board in the aftermath of the growing scandal over the agency's handling of Saturday's floods.
Landrieu spokesman Tyronne Walker said the administration is attempting to arrange for a private company to come in "as a temporary arrangement, for a finite time frame to be determined to allow for the stabilization of the system."
The number of pumps that were out of service in Saturday's flooding was 16, not 14 as previo…
The company would be tasked with doing "a serious and thorough analysis and transition to the next executive director and leadership team."
The plan comes after a purge of top officials at the S&WB in the wake of not only Saturday's flooding, but false statements about the system's capacity that followed. S&WB Executive Director Cedric Grant, General Superintendent Joe Becker and Communications Director Lisa Martin have all submitted letters of resignation or retirement since Tuesday.
The announcement also comes as the city is perched in a precarious situation following a fire that shut down the only turbine that can provide direct power to the pumps on Wednesday night. While the utility can convert power from a different turbine and from Entergy, constraints on those power sources mean only 38 out of 58 working pumps on the east bank west of the Industrial Canal can be turned on a time, raising the risk of serious flooding if more than 2 inches of rain falls in an hour.
New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board Executive Director Cedric Grant, who announced Tuesda…
Much of New Orleans is at high risk of flooding during the next 24 to 48 hours because a fire overnight damaged the power source that runs most of the city’s pumps, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said early Thursday.
It's not clear what company would be hired to run the S&WB, though Veolia Water -- which is connected to Transdev, the company that runs the Regional Transit Authority -- already is working with the utility on water-quality issues.
The city had previously considered privatizing the S&WB permanently in the early 2000s, though that effort fizzled out.