Utility crews working through severe weather
BATON ROUGE - With plenty of rain in the forecast, utility crews are staged all over the metro area as severe weather pushes through.
Entergy is taking action with 50 line and service crews already on the ground for immediate response, fixing issues as they are reported. The city-parish's utility crews are also out working to deal with impact from the severe weather.
“We have our crews out. We're prepared for the worst, ready to respond to whatever comes about from the storm,” said Kyle Huffstickler, of the city-parish’s Department of Maintenance.
The crews are working to pick up downed branches and clearing drainage ways, but officials say it is small canals and waterways that often fill with trash and debris which can cause problems during rain storms.
“The drainage pumps that handle the storm drain issues,” said Huffstickler. “Those are all working. We only have a few of those,” he continued.
The city owns two pumps, and one of those pumps is by I-110, where drivers saw high water in both directions Wednesday afternoon. According to the city-parish, that pump is working.
“Over by the interstate in the Governor's Mansion curve. So as far as those pumps from the city's standpoint, those drainage pumps are working,” he said.
That pump was being repaired back in June during another bad rain storm, and DOTD said then the flooding wasn't due to malfunction, but due to overworking the pumps.
Back then, Secretary of Transportation Shawn Wilson said, “a flash flood can occur not just with a hurricane, but with any event.”
“Those pumps are designed to move a certain amount of water in a certain amount of time,” he added.
For Wednesday's weather event, according to Huffstickler, crews are focusing on routine work and potential areas of concern.
“We look at where we had problems in the past or where we continue to have drainage problems with debris and stuff and so we focus on that first, then we go out and start taking care of the other issues as they come up,” said Huffstickler.