Turbine fire in New Orleans may cause problems in the city
NEW ORLEANS- Wednesday night a fire started in a turbine that provides power to most of the city's drainage pumps.
Since the pumping station has been damaged, Mayor Mitch Landrieu warns residents of possible flooding today and during the weekend.
"We are at risk if we have a massive rain event that comes up on us at the last minute and creates the kind of flooding that we had," Landrieu said during a 2:50 a.m. press conference. "The power we have available to us now will not be sufficient enough to pump the city out in the time needed."
An emergency alert was sent to the phones of most residents at 3 a.m. Landrieu said only three of the five power-generating turbines at the Sewerage & Water Board's South Claiborne Avenue plant were already offline when the fire broke out in one of the last remaining turbines about 8 p.m. Wednesday. He said the plant was now running on its last power source.
Throughout the night crews worked to repair the turbine that was damaged by the fire. The fire remained under investigation early Thursday morning. Not all of the stations in the city were affected. Pumping stations in Algiers, the Lower 9th Ward and New Orleans East were not affected, Landrieu said, nor was drinking water or sewer service.
Due to the potential of possible flooding, several New Orleans area schools have announced closures.
Schools that will be closed include: Orleans Catholic Schools, KIPP Schools, International High School, Esperanza Charter School, ENCORE Academy, New Beginnings Schools (Lake Area, Pierre Capdau and Nelson Charter), ARISE Academy and Mildred Osborne Charter School, Morris Jeff Community School, Algiers Charter School Association, New Orleans College Prep (NOCP).
Information provided by WWL-TV Channel 4 New Orleans