New Orleans Official Blamed Flooding On ‘Climate Change,’ But Broken Pumps Were To Blame


Neighborhoods are flooded with oil and water two weeks after Hurricane Katrina went though New Orleans, September 12, 2005. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

From The Daily Caller

Michael Bastasch

New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board director Cedric Grant blamed widespread flooding over the weekend on “climate change,” but it wasn’t long before news broke that broken water pumps were actually to blame.

Throughout the week, media reports have shown that New Orleans’s antiquated water pumping system failed to keep flooding at bay, and the problem hasn’t been resolved.

The mayor’s office warned Thursday morning a fire had taken out a turbine that powers most water pumping stations in the East Bank of New Orleans.

With more heavy rain forecast for this week, Mayor Mitch Landrieu is asking residents to prepare for flooding. August is also hurricane season, a time when pumping stations are vital to keeping storm drains from being overwhelmed.

That’s a very different message from city officials earlier in the week when Grant blamed flooding over the weekend on climate change.

“The frustration is that we are now in a different era,” Grant said Sunday, the day after the city was inundated by about nine inches of rain in three hours.

“We are in an era of climate change, where we have these rains every week, every month,” Grant said. “And it’s not just us. It’s the rest of the country that’s experiencing the same weather patterns.”

City officials reassured residents that all water pump stations were working at full capacity, but subsequent media reports indicated this was not the case.

Some of the pumps “were offline due to maintenance” and another “pump station operated at just 52 percent capacity,” CBS News reported. “Pumping stations in two of the hardest-hit areas went down to half- to two-thirds capacity on Saturday,” the Associated Press noted.

So, why did the water pumping system fail so badly? Some of New Orleans’s pump stations rely on a turn-of-the-20th-Century power plant that’s not able to power every pump during a heavy downpour. reporter Chelsea Brasted has the details:

Only one of the five pumps uses a modern 60-cycle electricity, and city officials say it could “power 38 of the 58 pumps on the west side of the Industrial Canal on the east bank,” WWLTV reported.

Grant told New Orleans city council members he would retire after hurricane season ends. Public Works Director Mark Jernigan will resign as well.

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August 11, 2017 10:15 pm

Of course, it aint helping none that the city is mostly below sea level and sinking more every day.
And the Mississippi River is way above sea level there, so water is constantly welling up through the ground due to simple hydrostatic pressure.
They need to pump all the time even with no rain.
Lets think back a few years…how much money was spent rebuilding New Orleans?
Was there anyone who thought it might be a good idea to modernize those pumps, so perhaps the only thing keeping the city from flooding was able to be backed up with the power supply in use by the rest of the country?
Krikey! image

Reply to  Menicholas
August 12, 2017 1:24 am

Not true. The crescent at the river bend is an old sand bar where the wealthy have their homes. This is above sea level and was the spot that did not flood in Katrina. This flooding is just a collapse of infrastructure as a huge chunk of the population left as a result of Katrina drying up tax revenue. There just may not be the money to save what is left, namely the original old city. The homes flooded in this pic are not the ghetto homes below sea level. That is the former poor part of town. These are mansions on that crescent near downtown.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
August 12, 2017 3:21 am

When you flood the houses of the ‘comfortable’ there will be repercussions.

Earlier Thursday, several top city officials in New Orleans lost their jobs after a historic rainstorm caused the city to flood, despite promises the city’s pumping system could handle such a deluge. link

If it had just been poor folks that got flooded out those city officials would have kept their jobs. When your victims include engineers, lawyers, high powered executives, and business people, blaming global warming won’t work.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
August 12, 2017 3:44 am

“When you flood the houses of the ‘comfortable’ there will be repercussions.”
The term “when the effluent hits the affluent” was invented to describe this effect in the UK during the flooding a few years ago (also due to failure to maintain the infrastructure).

Reply to  Donald Kasper
August 12, 2017 9:58 am

Which part is not true?
Most of the city is below the sea level, below the level of Lake Pontchartrain, and below the level of the river that passes through the city.

Weylan McAnally
Reply to  Donald Kasper
August 12, 2017 10:23 am

I have read about and visited NOLA extensively. Having studied the geological foundations of the area, I understand that only the French Quarter is above sea level. All of the other areas are at or below sea level. This is why only the area between Canal and Iberville flooded during Katrina. The Quarter did not flood. The rest of NOLA flooded due to the levee breach south of the Quarter.
Those homes shown in the pic are modern homes and are not located in the Quarter.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
August 12, 2017 3:19 pm

Any areas along the river did not flood. Uptown (garden district), French Quarter, parts of Fauborg Marigny and Bywater did not flood. Katrina flooding was caused by breaches in the outflow canals located across the city…

Reply to  Donald Kasper
August 13, 2017 9:30 am

The city administration failed to spend federal money given to them for flood management and improvement of the levies prior to Katrina, and then they tried to blame the flooding on everything else. No telling where the money went. It looks like the same pattern of behavior among government officials in New Orleans continues. In the final analysis it isn’t the pumping system that is broken, its the government.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
August 13, 2017 10:30 am

” These are mansions on that crescent near downtown.”
In the Karma district, I presume.

Reply to  Menicholas
August 12, 2017 2:21 am

“San Francisco is sinking! This is the startling statement of the civil engineer who conducts the work of the City and County Surveyor’s office at the City Hall. Sinking, slowly but steadily, each recurring year bringing additional evidence that a large portion of the city would in a few decades be below the waters of the bay”

Ben of Houston
Reply to  richard
August 12, 2017 9:00 am

It might have if not for infrastructure changes. This was during the era where many cities were raised multiple feet. Chicago, for instance, was 3 feet higher after the great Chicago fire, and Galveston was raised 6 foot after the 1901 hurricane.
It’s not necessarily a failed prediction if they actively avert the problem.

Reply to  Menicholas
August 12, 2017 3:24 am

New Orleans? What do you want to bet that they had the money from the Feds to replace those pumps?
Probably in somebody’s freezer…

Reply to  Writing Observer
August 12, 2017 3:56 am

If climate change is the problem, then they need to apply a climate change solution: add more wind turbines and solar panels. Problem solved, and don’t forget, the wind and the sun are FREE!

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
Reply to  Menicholas
August 12, 2017 3:54 am

Good observation. In fact in India when ever certain areas flooded, they attribute it to climate change/global warming with the media hype. The same they feed to Prime Minister of India. They rarely look in to the real causes for urban flooding.
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Reply to  Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
August 12, 2017 9:02 am

I can’t recall a single instance where “this was caused by climate change” wasn’t an attempt from a city planner to avoid responsibility for their own incompetence.

Mike Schlamby
Reply to  Menicholas
August 12, 2017 4:13 am

The rebuilding of Nawlins was only a peripheral issue in the spending of the money — an excuse, as it were. The real point was enriching cronies, as is almost invariably the case with public sending.
Of course nobody thought to fix the pumps — doing so wasn’t sufficiently superficial and the profit margins would have been low because it involved real engineering and work, which were both mostly avoided.

Reply to  Mike Schlamby
August 12, 2017 6:53 am

And don’t forget the absence of photo ops. No coverage for infrastructure upgrades. No sexy enough!!!

Reply to  Mike Schlamby
August 14, 2017 9:49 am

It was obvious to everyone after Katrina that New Orleans levies and flood prevention systems needed to be re-engineered and upgraded to modern standards with modern equipment. Yet strangely enough Mr. Obama’s administration didn’t spend any of those multi trillion $$ stimulus packages to fix up cities with failing/failed infrastructure like New Orleans and Detroit.

Reply to  Menicholas
August 12, 2017 4:13 am

Not unheard of some constructing on flood plains, next to active volcanos, old landfills etc and then blaming the mankind for the disasters.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Menicholas
August 12, 2017 2:23 pm

“…And the Mississippi River is way above sea level there…”
So the Mississippi flows upstream to reach the Gulf?
“…Was there anyone who thought it might be a good idea to modernize those pumps…”
They have spent lots of money on stormwater pumping and drainage improvements. Not that it can solve the problem. 9 inches in 3 hrs is pretty overwhelming for any system.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 12, 2017 3:27 pm

Yes, mike, when functioning properly, the pumps can handle 1″ for the first hour and 1/2″ per hour after that. So we get flooded fairly often (or at least often enough)…

David A
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 12, 2017 6:34 pm

It appears it would be flowing upstream if it was BELOW SL.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 12, 2017 9:05 pm

Michael Jankowski,
Which planet are you from?
Here on Earth, rivers flow downhill to the sea…or to the Gulf.
So, where are they before they get to the sea?
Think hard…I know it is a very complex thing to visualize.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 12, 2017 9:06 pm

Funny thing is…I even included a couple of links to diagrams which show exactly what I said.

August 11, 2017 10:31 pm

Similar thing happened in low lying South Dunedin NZ. In 2015 143mm of rain caused serious residential flooding and the local council and alarmists blamed climate change. But when the faulty screen mesh of the pumping station and street drainage mud tanks were cleared, a similar rainfall event just last month of 128mm resulted in very little flooding…surprise surprise!

Reply to  BigBubba
August 12, 2017 1:25 am

Climate change is the spook that gets pulled out so that government is no longer response for stupidity and lack of maintenance.

Reply to  BigBubba
August 12, 2017 2:25 am

Same thing applies to the gutter on my garage. Clean out the muck and bingo! it works.
I was wondering … We are in an era of climate change, where we have these rains every week, every month,. Any chance Grant could give us chapter and verse on that statement? No? Didn’t think so. Why do we let our public officials get away with this bull***t? UK is just as bad. Maybe it’s just an excuse not to spend money. So where does the stuff go? They take enough of it off us.

Reply to  Newminster
August 12, 2017 3:30 pm

It has been raining an awful lot the past year or so. (ever since the peak of the el nino)…

David A
Reply to  Newminster
August 12, 2017 6:36 pm

That is hardly definitive or indicative of anything except weather. Unquantified antedotal weather at that.

Gary Pearse
August 11, 2017 10:41 pm

After Katrina, this is just criminal. Somebody should be jailed over this. You have to rebuild a city after such devastation and loss of life and you leave 115 yr old pumps in service? The disaster itself was a result of levees in bad repair. The entire city politician contingent should be dismissed. Had I lost my family in Katrina, I would have sued their asses. This is Hurricane country and the delta of a major river!

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 11, 2017 11:14 pm

Have they built wind turbines?
That woulda fixed the climate change problem 😉

Reply to  AndyG55
August 12, 2017 7:55 am

Yeah!!! The wind turbines could power the pumps! And then they could pump the water into an elevated reservoir and generate hydroelectricity!

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 12, 2017 12:00 am

Gary, the flooding from katrina west of the industrial canal was the result of the failure of out flow canals walls. (lake front levees held up fine) While the signs of disrepair were there, the main problem was a basic flaw in their design. Pumps were placed at the rear end of the canals instead of up by the lake where they belonged. Had that been the case, any failure of the canal walls would have just emptied the water from the canals. As it was, a breech in the canal walls meant the “emptying” of the entire lake into the city…

Don K
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 12, 2017 4:13 am

Complicated situation. New Orleans is built on unconsolidated sediment. Flood control upstream in the early-mid twentieth century largely cut off the flow of new sediment. Now the sediment is compacting and the situation is exacerbated by pumping ground water. The result is that the city is sinking at a rate that is probably unsustainable. There’s a map here showing the current elevations. Subsidence in some areas is a couple of cm a year.
I’ve seen maps of the subsidence, but couldn’t find a good one in 10 minutes of looking.
I don’t think there’s an easy answer to what to do about the situation. I’m not even sure there is a hard answer. It’s not clear that the place shouldn’t have been largely abandoned after Katrina.

Weylan McAnally
Reply to  Don K
August 12, 2017 10:30 am

All but the downtown, Garden District and the French Quarter should have been abandoned after Katrina unless a massive modernization of levees and pumps was undertaken.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 12, 2017 11:45 am

Won’t even prepare for the past…

August 11, 2017 10:56 pm

Yet this is not a problem in Holland

August 12, 2017 1:27 am

You put Amsterdam, a major industrial city in a swamp, they have money to deal with water. You put a ghetto there, and there is no tax money or industrial base to deal with the water.

Don K
August 12, 2017 5:04 am

I think that in Amsterdam, they traditionally build on pilings driven down to bedrock. I’m pretty sure there is no bedrock at reasonable depth in NOLA.
Could be wrong. Anyone around here actually know anything about Amsterdam?

steven F
Reply to  Don K
August 12, 2017 9:12 am

According to the this document bead rock is about 3000ft below the surface. And much of new Orleans was built on a cypress swamp and and core sampled in the city show a lot of decaying wood under the city.

August 12, 2017 5:17 am

Dutchmen are also hardworking people and not gobliners, who care about the public life and the community only when picking up the support at the beginning of the month. Then there are French les affairs and live like God in France in the case of New Orleans, and perfect is the perfect mixture between idleness and surprise when it is flooded.This is also the problem of many developing countries with increasing sea level. This imbalance between idleness and disaster, if it does happen.

Roger Knights
August 11, 2017 11:15 pm

The Big Oozy.

August 11, 2017 11:17 pm

Good ol’ New Orleans: regardless of the cause of the flooding they have money to remove/relocate statues of Confederate Civil War generals, but cant replace 100+ year old pumps that are vital to the functioning of the city!
Talk about misplaced priorities!

Reply to  Rascal
August 11, 2017 11:41 pm

Better to be up to your knees in water than having a statue of robert e. lee gazing over your home town. This IS a black majority city. How would you feel if you were black and had these grotesque symbols of racism, segregation and slavery dotted about where you live? The only criticism of new orleans here should be why it took so long to get rid of them…

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 12, 2017 12:46 am

Still, a rational choice would have been to prioritize living conditions over people’s feelings… Especially when floods affect everyone in the area no matter their color and ancestor.

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 12, 2017 1:01 am

Is a reminder of the Civil War, regardless of the side represented, automatically a symbol of racism? Shouldn’t blacks in New Orleans be concerned by the incompetence of the city’s current leaders?

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 12, 2017 1:29 am

The statue represent a man and a system that lost the Civil War. It is like remembering Auschwitz.

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 12, 2017 3:11 am

afonzerreli, Kudos for demonstrating so well and with so much satire just how stupid and far removed from reality SJWs actually are.
The mayor only tore down those statues at the behest of his girlfriend.
He clearly agrees it is better to live in flood water than to have to look at 100 year old statues.

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 12, 2017 3:33 am

they are the history OF the land you live it or not.
we have pommy queens n kings all over aus and we dont have hissy fits over em.
always puzzled me, still does…why didnt the africans and others taken as slaves ever go home?
because slaves or free and poor it was STILL better than life back home was?
and as originally from wherever they could have done so, even with their kids, and gone back to families etc

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 12, 2017 4:22 am

Yea, history must be destroyed for PC. Burn those books! Don’t leave any reminders of the past if it does not fit into the current notions. What’s next? Removing the Confederate monuments from the preserved Battlefields?

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 12, 2017 5:32 am

The statue represent a man and a system that lost the Civil War. It is like remembering Auschwitz.

Great point.

“History is written by the winners”. The really frightening thing about totalitarianism is not that it commits ‘atrocities’ but that it attacks the concept of objective truth; it claims to control the past as well as the future. In spite of all the lying and self-righteousness that war encourages…….There is some hope, therefore, that the liberal habit of mind, which thinks of truth as something outside yourself, something to be discovered, and not as something you can make up as you go along, will survive. But I still don’t envy the future historian’s job.
George Orwell, Feb 1944

Oh well, we are still trying to rewrite history because of ‘feelings’, thus doomed to repeat it.

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 12, 2017 6:48 am

Encouraging people to forget history seems wrong. I guess if you want to able to repeat history, keeping it out of sight is the best bet…..

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  afonzarelli
August 12, 2017 7:42 am

Afonzarelli’s comment is a teachable moment that illustrates two major flaws of liberalism:
1. Liberals are incapable of solving problems because they can’t clearly define them. Case in point: they believe the removal of Confederate statues will somehow help end racism.
2. Liberals are as tolerant as Al-Queda and ISIS
History does not equal hate. Revising history is a fool’s errand.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  afonzarelli
August 12, 2017 11:48 am

Come now. The pumps are infrastructure. People always try to fix the problems that they can see, such as honoring traitors, and ignore the ones they cannot see, such as a pumping system that works in 90% of cases.
And Roy, “reminding” isn’t the problem. Honoring and supporting the Confederacy IS. There is a big difference there, and the old South was not subtle in the least about which they were doing.
That being said, the city managers should have known better. This is a long term problem caused by decades of neglect. A few statue changes in the past few years are drop in the bucket compared to what is needed here.

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 12, 2017 5:32 pm

Honestly, what cold dark cave did y’all come crawling out of? To black people, who are a majority in this town, that statue was grossly offensive. A symbol of a man who fought to keep their anscestors enslaved. Good governance would be to remove such repugnant structures from the public square. (in the same way that jews would expect that hitler not be honored in new york city)…

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  afonzarelli
August 12, 2017 10:37 pm

We’re not talking about a stature of Hitler in New York City. We’re talking about statues of Southern (American) patriots who fought valiantly against Yankee *snip* invading their homeland during the War of Northern Aggression. Was slavery an issue in this fight? Yes, of course, no doubt. Was it the major, overriding issue? Hell no.
Let me repeat, history is NOT hate. Removing Confederate statues will have ZERO effect on reducing racism. Anyone who believes otherwise is just *snip* STUPID!

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 13, 2017 8:20 am

I sure am happy to have one side of my family tree consisting of Quaker abolitionists, Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, and another branch with people like this General James Shields who, although not a great military leader, was at least fighting on the right side of history.
Especially when I read comments like that last one from Hooffstetter.
Funny how them statues were not racist until the advent of the Adjustocene Era allowed historical revisions as needed for any particular cause.
I wonder what comes after the Devoidofact epoch of the Factfreeocene Age?

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 13, 2017 10:45 am

Statues weren’t racist until the “Adjustocene” era? Are you just willfully blind or have you not read anything? They didn’t make as big a deal back in the old days due to more pressing problems, but if you read old literature, there were plenty of people upset about them.
And Hoofsetter, that flag murdered Sam Houston. The father of my state died in 1863, thrown out of office and with his life’s work in tatters. Don’t support the traitorous actions of our ancestors by throwing out lies. For me, it’s personal.

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 13, 2017 5:09 pm

Lou, slavery was THE reason for the formation of the confederacy. As such it was THE major overriding issue. And the confederacy might have gotten away with secession were it not for THEIR aggression in attacking fort sumter. (while not officially recognizing the confederacy, lincoln had no problem with it as long as they laid off of federal installations in the south) So, don’t start with this “yankee aggression” crap. The real aggressors here were those who thought it o.k. to own other human beings and took whatever steps they deemed necessary to perpetuate slavery. And while you’re correct, removing the statue at lee circle will not effect racism, many here are glad that such an object that caused them deep revulsion is no longer standing in the public square. To blacks, lee represents the institution of slavery, period. The man who, had he won, would have perpetuated that institution that did so much harm to their anscestors…

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  afonzarelli
August 13, 2017 11:16 pm

Because some missed my point, let me try again:
41 of the 53 signers of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves. Half of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention owned slaves. At least 7 founding fathers (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, John Jay, and James Madison) owned slaves. 12 presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Andrew Johnson, and Ulysses Grant) owned slaves. Slavery is an ugly but undeniable part of our nation’s heritage and history.
Of the more than a million soldiers who fought for the Confederacy, very few owned slaves (approximately 6% of Southerners owned slaves, and 3% of those owned the majority). Approximately 90% of Confederate soldiers were under age 30, and more than half were farmers. And most of the farmers were share croppers (landless tenant farmers).
So what motivated men who didn’t own any land or slaves to fight? (Confederate recruits themselves referred to the war as “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.”) They fought to protect their homes, families, and all they held dear from Northern invaders, (hence the term “War of Northern Aggression”). They fought to keep their traditions alive, and to be left alone. In short, they fought to prevent a tyrannical federal government from dictating how they could and couldn’t live their lives. They called it “States Rights”, (and yes, the right to keep slaves was the major “right” the Confederate government wanted to preserve), but just as most Northerners didn’t fight to end slavery, most Southerners didn’t fight to preserve it.
My point is that our quest to end racism has snowballed into insanity. “Progressives” believe that if we erase slavery from our history it will end racism in our country. It started with calls to remove the Confederate flag (which I understand), but recently “protestors” in Memphis Tn., tried to dig up the body of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest. When they failed, Memphis city council members voted to dig up not only the general, but his wife as well. Where will this madness end? After yesterday’s shameful events in Charlottesvile, Va., there are calls to remove every Confederate monument in the country. Monuments to our founding fathers will be next, and World War II monuments won’t be far behind. Soon there will be calls to remove the Vietnam War Memorial.
Stop! This has gone far enough! These attempts to quell racism are having the opposite effect. They are stirring up hatred and inciting violence. As I said in an earlier comment, trying to rewrite history is a fools errand. Embrace it, deal with it, and move on!

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 14, 2017 12:14 am

No, Lou, i agree there are nutters out there that want to go after EVERYTHING. Take that whole flap with the twenty dollar bill. And here in New Orleans there were some who wanted to take down the statue of Jackson in Jackson Square. i can’t speak to all of them. The statues removed here pertained only to the civil war. (i don’t know much about the ‘battle of liberty place’ monument which was the only explicitly ‘racist’ one of the four. A tiny monument tucked away in the french quarter in a remote spot, it was constantly being vadalized with swastikas. So, i don’t think it’s removal accounted for much) You had the Lee statue, Jefferson Davis and Beauregard. Sentiments were that those three needed to go because they were offensive to so many. i think a good line to draw, as was done here, would be in going after JUST confederate monuments in public places, not in digging up graves. Those monuments are truly and understandably offensive to black people. If anyone is offended by a statue of Jackson, they need to get over it. (i myself find the MLK statue offensive given the man’s overtly wild promiscuities, but i’ll get over it)…

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  afonzarelli
August 14, 2017 5:23 am

And I agree that people shouldn’t be forced to view symbols of repression that they find offensive. But it should be done correctly. Instead of letting patronizing politicians force their views down people’s throats, put it to a vote and let the citizens decide for themselves. If they decide to remove the Confederate flag or a statue of some Confederate general, so be it.

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 14, 2017 9:37 am

Yes their won’t be any of those “evil” statues of historic figures in the abandoned and flooded city formerly known as New Orleans. I’m sure the swamp critters that take up residence after all the people are forced to leave the flooded city will appreciate the lack of the historic statues in their neighborhood. lol

Reply to  afonzarelli
August 14, 2017 12:37 pm

James, so long as there is booze on bourbon street there will be people in new orleans (☺)…

Bryan A
August 11, 2017 11:34 pm

If the turn of the century power station can’t provide sufficient energy to operate the pumps during storm events causing flooding, how would they expect Solar Power to do it? Or Offshore/Onshore wind during storms?

Reply to  Bryan A
August 12, 2017 3:13 am

lol you actually think that politicians in LOUISIANA would do their job and avoid payola with “climate change” available as an excuse?

steven F
Reply to  Bryan A
August 12, 2017 9:30 am

The problem is that most of the 25Hz turbines are not operational and have ben that way for for years. One was shut down in the 70’s. Apparently in the past when a turbine failed badly they just shut it down and didn’t repair it. It’s not hard to convert DC power to any frequency you want. So Solar or wind power could generate the power but the area requirement would not fit in the city.
Probably the best thing they could do is to install new 60 Hz generators with 25Hz converts. That way the city could run the pups on grid or backup turbines. Them over time they could replace the 25Hz pump motors with 60hz motors. It would probably be cheaper than repairing steam turbines that have not been used in decades.And over time the system would eventually be 60Hz and could run off of any source of power commercially available.

Reply to  steven F
August 12, 2017 11:25 am

Since they are still producing 25hz power at a guess the issue is more they don’t want to pay the price repair their 25hz motors. They may not even be able to find a company willing rewind motors or build new 25hz replacement motors in such low numbers as it’s not worth the companies time. Which means a large bill for upgrading the entire system and that’s where government incompetence comes in to play. It’s more important to fund more high profile or pet projects then replace a system that’s technically working. Besides, if the affluent do get flooded out then they’ll likely get enough attention that they’ll get federal money to replace the system instead of using local tax money.

Reply to  steven F
August 12, 2017 9:07 pm

VFDs are readily available.

Erik Magnuson
Reply to  steven F
August 12, 2017 9:43 pm

Amtrak still uses 25HZ power between Washington and NYC. They do have several stations that convert between 60Hz and 25Hz and it would make sense for New Orleans to invest in that technology.
An article I read yesterday mentioned that some pumps were not operational due to problems with turbines – wondered what was so special about the turbine generators – then saw the note about 25Hz. The pumps must have a slow rotational speed as that is the most rational reason for keeping the 25Hz motors.

Reply to  steven F
August 13, 2017 8:23 am

No need for rapid rotation when you want low head and high volume.

Erik Magnuson
Reply to  steven F
August 13, 2017 2:06 pm

Yep, with low head slower means drag loss.
Comment about low speed motors was from some century old GE and Westinghouse literature on advocating for standardizing on 60cps while acknowledging where 25cps still had advantages. 25cps was still being used in steel mills as very low speed induction motors were more efficient on 25cps versus 60cps.

Reply to  Bryan A
August 13, 2017 2:24 pm

Can I quickly point out that Holland and East Anglia were drained without electricity, just wind-power.

Reply to  Sleepalot
August 14, 2017 12:10 am

How long did it take?

August 11, 2017 11:53 pm

If they just re-instated the statues of the Confederate Civil War generals, the gods of Climate Change would be assuaged and relent.

Dodgy Geezer
August 12, 2017 12:10 am

If our American cousins are having problems with the age of their water pumping equipment, we could do a reverse lend-lease and let them borrow some of ours. These pumps have been running for around 200 years, and should be good for another 200…

Reply to  vukcevic
August 12, 2017 3:29 am

If we ever get to visit London, it is going to take some explaining why a pump station is on the itinerary….

Paul Miller
Reply to  vukcevic
August 12, 2017 4:10 am

Nice. the article made my morning. A trip to a bygone era.

Reply to  vukcevic
August 12, 2017 7:26 am

A story I heard about the old Crossness pumping station from a project cost-control type person: It was intended to be demolished. But it is almost entirely made of cast-iron. Cast-iron is not like steel. You can’t cut or burn through it with oxy-acetylene equipment. It was going to cost a lot of time and money (and live probably) to demolish it. So they left it standing. But it no longer pumps sewage, there is a modern pumping station for that.
I’ve been there and it’s wonderful. Unfortunately it is only open for a few weekends in the summer.

Reply to  vukcevic
August 12, 2017 12:31 pm

It sure is a beautiful place.

August 12, 2017 12:17 am

meanwhile on 11th of August 2017 fresh summer snow in the Swiss Alps (also snowing in French Alps and Andorra
altitude 3000m

Reply to  vukcevic
August 12, 2017 6:38 am

Just drove through today and saw the snow. Quite a sight in August!

Reply to  Jer0me
August 12, 2017 10:12 am

Snow in part of the US this weekend as well.

August 12, 2017 12:41 am

If one goes back over the past decade….the Army Corps of Engineers….has put hundreds of millions for the purchase of pumps. Then, they hand it over to the city to run. In my humble opinion…the state needs to step in and request the Army Corp folks need to run it, and just pay them some money instead of this fake New Orleans crew. If some idiots want to blame global warming….then fine, let’s shut down the city and just give up on it’s survival.

Reply to  Roy
August 12, 2017 7:24 am

How about an audit? If it’s good enough for the government to audit all of these private businesses and put people away from fraud, etc. Why not in matters like this? If funds were released for the purchase of modern pumps, and the money was diverted, hold the people responsible. Maybe with Trump as POTUS, someone might be able to get some traction on stuff like this.

Reply to  MikeH
August 12, 2017 1:34 pm

EVERYTHING in New Orleans is diverted, always has been. I remember one of the “mysteries” at the time Katrina hit was why suddenly, 300 police on the payroll (out of a total of 1200, iirc) suddenly disappeared and were unavailable for any emergency duty, a big part of the reason the National Guard had to be called in, and had to stay for so long.
Turned out that these 300 “police” were all supposed to have their salaries paid for by a federal grant – so the NOPD had created 300 resumes out of thin air and said that these “ghosts” were newly hired police officers, and the feds paid the city for their salaries every month. Went on for years. Nobody knows where the money went, but the betting was that Mayor Nagin, the Chief of Police, and the NO District Attorney all personally got a good chunk of it each month. Worked like a dream until Katrina hit and some nosy outsiders tried to actually find all the cops who were on the payroll.
And nobody ever went to jail for that. It’s just how New Orleans works, it’s how it has always worked.
(someday, look up how in the years just prior to Katrina, the NO Levee Board took all of the money they were supposed to be using to maintain the integrity of the levees and instead built a private marina on Lake Pontchartrain with it, including buying private yachts for each of the levee board members)

Reply to  MikeH
August 12, 2017 4:32 pm

wws, the levee board is a self funding entity worth millions. They own an airport, run casinos and the like to pay for their projects. When the state needs a project done, they look to the levee board to get it done. (it’s not the levee board that is feeding out of the state’s hand) The rap on the levee board has never been a misappropriation of funds as they are awash in dough already. Rather, the rap has been that because of its many enterprises it has oft taken its eye off its primary purpose (that being flood protection)…

August 12, 2017 1:09 am

Perhaps on the long run its better to move on high ground.

Reply to  marty
August 12, 2017 3:56 am

Indeed. In any case, sooner or later the Mississippi will break through the levees for good and shift back west to Atchafalaya like it normally does every few centuries. The Corps of Engineers has managed to prevent it up till now, but if there is a real bad flood like in 1927 the game will be up.

Reply to  tty
August 12, 2017 10:17 am

IMO they should stop trying and let the river be a river.
They should be working on a solution that works for shipping while letting the inevitable happen in a controlled manner.
The entire delta is starved of sediment that is instead building that giant crows foot further and further out into the gulf.
That lack of a delta washout plain as a buffer for the nutrient laden water is also responsible for the dead zone…said to be larger and deader than ever this year.

August 12, 2017 1:14 am

The original city engineer said the site was too prone to flooding and wanted to build somewhere else, but the Governor over ruled him , and built the city at the current site.
That was in 1717.

August 12, 2017 1:23 am

The question is how much money New Orleans residents have paid to change the composition of the global atmosphere rather than improve flood resilience:
“That means resources like small-scale wind turbines can be used in emergencies for local power, plus they are paying themselves off when fed back to the utility at premium rates”
Breathtaking renewables snake-oil industry propaganda, with apologies to the genuine snake-oil industry, which doesn’t force people to pay for its useless product.

August 12, 2017 1:30 am

Before the problems with the pumps came an exceptionally large storm event.
That is likely to have been down to climate change
So too in the UK: floods are represented as being down to ‘lack of dredging’ when it is clear from hundreds of years of weather record the problem is an increase in heavy rain from slow moving weather systems – down to climate change

Reply to  Griff
August 12, 2017 3:18 am

The rain wasn’t exceptionally large as a flood event.
“Climate change” is only involved because it is a convenient excuse acceptable to all climate obsessed fools to explain away corruption and incompetence.
New Orleans gets heavy rains with some frequency.
The city was built from the start with that in mind.
The pumps are integral to a city below sea level.
But thanks for demonstrating the creative gullibility of the climate deranged fool.

Bryan A
Reply to  hunter
August 12, 2017 2:43 pm

And I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain…
Sang the prophet John Fogerty of CCR

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Griff
August 12, 2017 4:08 am

Likely? You have no idea what you’re talking about. Parts of New Orleans flood regularly whenever rainfall exceeds pump capacity. It’s normal.

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
August 12, 2017 1:43 pm

Exactly! Someone ask Griff “Why do you think New Orleans built a huge, expensive pumping system to keep water out whenever a hard rain comes along? Could it be that hard rains come along pretty often in that part of the world? Could it have been that they were already pretty used to seeing hard rains come along pretty often over a century ago when this system was designed and built???
And why do you think Alligators and all the other swamp things love South Louisiana so much, and thrive their? It’s a wet, wet place! It has ALWAYS been a wet, wet, place! The things that live there are there BECAUSE it is a wet, wet place!!!
I think what gripes me the most about this was that, in the aftermath of Katrina, EVERY report made noted that the pumping system was antiquated and needed to be immediately upgraded and repaired. EVERYONE has known this for the last 12 years. 12 YEARS!!! And NOBODY has done anything to fix this critical system, and 12 years later, it’s still just as dysfunctional as it was on the day Katrina rolled in.

Coach Springer
Reply to  Griff
August 12, 2017 4:16 am

I seem to recall a fairly thorough vetting of the claims of climate change with regard to UK flooding. Not so much.

Reply to  Coach Springer
August 12, 2017 5:12 am

You’re dealing with Griff who is not moved by truth or fact and has no integrity.
The fact that UK flooding was not climate related makes no difference in the choice of arguments Geoff presents.
Griff is here to lie and deceive, not discuss.

Reply to  Griff
August 12, 2017 6:52 am

Let’s fix the pumps, dredge the rivers and watch that “climate change’ magically disappear.

Reply to  Griff
August 12, 2017 1:32 pm

“it is clear from hundreds of years of weather record the problem is an increase in heavy rain from slow moving weather systems – down to climate change”

Frederik Michiels
Reply to  Griff
August 13, 2017 1:17 pm

climate is always changing and never has been stable….. deal with it griff The whole existance of earth has never had a stable climate

August 12, 2017 1:32 am

Should keep the termites down for a while.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
August 12, 2017 4:43 am

Yet allow for the dead to rise. They have been allowed to vote for quite a while but only rise during high water events.

Reply to  eyesonu
August 12, 2017 4:38 pm

(dead man voting)…

Roger Knights
August 12, 2017 2:04 am

New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board director Cedric Grant blamed widespread flooding over the weekend on “climate change,” but it wasn’t long before news broke that broken water pumps were actually to blame.

What’s his next excuse—”the vandals took the handles”?

Ed Zuiderwijk
August 12, 2017 2:13 am

‘Climate Change’, the Deus Ex Magina of the 21st century, or the ‘Act of God’ of lazy officials?

August 12, 2017 2:31 am

New Orleans has always had flood problems because of all the water in the area. Considering the potential for flooding, the city should not be there. Such flooding is part of the current climate. If Mankind is somehow able to hault Mother Nature’s climate change that has been going on for eons, flooding will continue becase it is part of the current climate.

steven F
Reply to  willhaas
August 12, 2017 9:41 am

Today the lower 9th ward is still largely abandoned. The area never recovered after Hurricane Katrina. The state should buy out anyone that lives there and then fill in the land so that it is 10 to 20 feet above sea level. Then people would feel confident to move back in.

Weylan McAnally
Reply to  steven F
August 12, 2017 10:41 am

Not really economically possible. My buddy spent $80K to raise parts of his 22 acres about 3 inches. That was 20 years ago and he did all of the dirt work himself. Now calculate with the entire 9th ward acreage then multiply times 40 and make inflation adjustments.

Reply to  steven F
August 12, 2017 11:56 am
Reply to  steven F
August 12, 2017 1:49 pm

Far better, both economically and environmentally, to just cut the levees and let the swamp take the 9th ward back.
There’s a problem with raising the grade level – most of the ground underneath N.O., except for the hard shell ridge under the french quarter, is soft muck as far down as you wanna go. You put 10 feet of hard soil on top of it – that hard soil will sink into the muck underneath it and in a few years you won’t know anything was ever there.

August 12, 2017 3:05 am

One of the motives for public officials to embrace “climate change” is that it provides one of the ultimate sources of excuses ever for dereliction of duty as well as a cover-up for corruption.
From Sandy in the northeast to typhoons in the Philippines So called “climate change” is utilized as an excuse since traditional fact checkers…media and academia….are also corrupted by climate obsession. So they fail to challenge the truth of those claiming the climate as an excuse for flooding damages and death. So the real culprits, corruption, dereliction of duty, green interference, get sway with it.

John Haddock
Reply to  hunter
August 12, 2017 6:21 am

Exactly, and it confirms that “climate change” is indeed a religion. The faithful wail and gnash their teeth and say the gods of climate change have brought this upon us.

August 12, 2017 3:54 am

Well, at least one benefit of “Climate Change” … “Grant told New Orleans city council members he would retire after hurricane season ends. Public Works Director Mark Jernigan will resign as well.”

Reply to  jgfox39
August 12, 2017 8:01 am

Undoubtedly with full pension, unfortunately.

I Came I Saw I Left
August 12, 2017 4:17 am

Would love to know the story behind keeping 25-Hz pumps around.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
August 12, 2017 4:31 am

Here’s an interesting pdf that has diagrams and a picture of one of those pumps. They were overwhelmed on 3 other occasions: 1978, 1995 and Katrina, all due to climate change, no doubt.

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
August 12, 2017 7:46 am

New Orleans, true to their culture, did not have functional pumps at all during Katrina.

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
August 12, 2017 4:46 pm

Functional or not, they wouldn’t have worked anyhow as the outflow canals that they fed into were breached…

August 12, 2017 4:17 am

You Americans are absolutely amazing, you have pumps that can be used to lower the local sea level around the coast of Florida. I assume you also have to pump the rivers out somewhere? I just do not understand where you pump the water to. The sea? But doesn’t it just come back in? We need your technology in the Somerset levels.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  ghalfrunt
August 12, 2017 6:48 am

Have another toke, you seem to be enjoying it.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 12, 2017 8:02 am

Sheesh, have more respect for the genius mind that has joined us!

Reply to  ghalfrunt
August 12, 2017 7:33 am

Look to the Netherlands. Great areas of the country lie below sea level, and new land is continually swept away from the sea. And this worked since many hundred years, also in times with lesser technically support.

Reply to  Hans-Georg
August 12, 2017 1:58 pm

From what I understand of the geology of the Netherlands, most of the land reclaimed is geologically much the same as the mainland, possibly part of the areas once known as “Doggerland”. There’s hard rock underneath that can be anchored to. A geologic problem for South Louisiana is that it all soft river delta, with
soft sand and soft mud deposits going down for literally thousands of feet. It’s really not a place men should be building supposedly permanent structures in.

Reply to  Hans-Georg
August 14, 2017 10:08 am

When you read history you find out that the French official that surveyed the area for New Orleans said “Do not build a city here”. lol

Coach Springer
August 12, 2017 4:28 am

Local problems with global non-solutions at a time yet to be determined..

JP Kalishek
August 12, 2017 4:52 am

Once lived in N.O. and the Burb of Kenner for 20 years.
As often as the city bragged about updating their pump system, I guess the pump body and motors was all they actually updated. I know they bragged about selling old pumps to the Dutch. But, even if the motors are updated but use the older style to use the power of the antique generation, there is equipment out there that will allow the old LP&L now Entergy grid to power up the stations. That the city didn’t update any of this should come as no surprise to anyone who lived there and paid any attention to how N.O. works (or doesn’t work, as the case may be).

Kaiser Derden
August 12, 2017 5:05 am

for Gods sake … poorly maintained levies and now poorly maintained pumps …

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Kaiser Derden
August 12, 2017 6:15 am

And they have the chutzpa to blame it on “climate change”.

JP Kalishek
Reply to  Kaiser Derden
August 15, 2017 1:44 am

Sadly, maintenance has little to do for it. The second levee that collapsed during Katrina was only just updated, so the newest one fell over not long after the old one in the 9th Ward.

tom s
August 12, 2017 6:50 am

Sickening, idiotic and very ignorant lying politicians. Can’t stand them.

H. D. Hoese
August 12, 2017 7:48 am

A few of us who have spent some time in New Orleans discussing this recently agreed that an umbrella or raincoat has always been essential in summer. Weather patterns may have changed, somewhat wetter there, but it consistently has had 60 inches or more a year.
The flood of 1973, followed by two flood years, has been considered as bad as 1927, the river almost lost. All floods have different periodicities. The situation has been considerably improved but the worst flood was considered by the meteorologist who studied the 1927 flood to be 1858. If you have a lot of idle time you might want to look at the 92 page draft coastal master plan. Have not kept up with it lately, but the river has been a benefit with an exceptionally difficult problem for a long time.
It is interesting that Roger Sowell’s adjacent article on electricity has Louisiana as the cheapest. It is not a good place for wind, solar, or water power.

August 12, 2017 8:36 am

I had no idea that anyone was still running 25 hz equipment anywhere. I would presume the appropriations to replace that equipment was diverted to some more socially desirable project.
BTW Griff, the sort of rain New Orleans had is typical in some parts of the US. We in suburban Austin TX had over 4 inches (10cm) in about five hours last week. That was a normal storm.

Ian L. McQueen
August 12, 2017 9:19 am

Going back to the original story, I note that it speaks of 25-hertz electricity going out of favor before WWII. However, I can recall when Ontario (southern Ontario, at least) converted from 25- to 60-hertz electricity back in the 50s, I believe (I was young at the time and a lot has happened since then…..). I can remember that the provincial hydro board changed motors free of charge so that they would operate on 60-hertz power. They knew that the number of motors would increase over the years, but I don’t think that even they imagined how many more they would have to change now!

August 12, 2017 9:21 am

Looks like Cedric Grant is up for the next “Ray Nagin Honesty in Government Award”.

August 12, 2017 9:54 am

Retire, the bastards should be jailed.

August 12, 2017 10:21 am

A normal city would condemn homes that were in constant peril of flooding because it isn’t safe for the children. NO, on the other hand, spends millions of dollars from the other 49 states to pump water out of the city’s cellar. They should spend that money removing those structures and allow nature to take over, or fill it in with soil (which will likely increase the rate of subsidence). Leaving it as it is is not an option.

August 12, 2017 1:18 pm

Similar story in the NYTimes on Portugal and forest fires.
All do to increased dryness and heat caused by climate change only if you look at the monthly data for Portugal from the World Bank Climate Portal
You get this for the top 25 dryest months
Rainfall (mm) ” Year” Month
0.33297 1937 8
0.41206 1948 7
0.50705 1967 7
0.50815 1935 7
0.64743 1986 7
0.85684 1978 7
0.86684 1942 7
0.97077 1997 3
1.01123 1962 8
1.07022 1978 8
1.15889 1988 8
1.16683 1913 7
1.27668 1917 7
1.34659 1947 7
1.37323 1929 8
1.38184 1926 8
1.40512 1920 7
1.46245 1969 8
1.51138 2013 8
1.52709 1968 7
1.70639 1926 7
2.07414 1992 7
2.08346 1979 8
2.19533 1974 8
And for Temps
Temperature (C) ” Year” Month
24.323 2003 8
24.2227 2010 8
24.1287 1989 7
24.0653 1991 8
23.9248 1990 7
23.9214 1928 7
23.8657 1998 8
23.7509 1961 8
23.7502 1990 8
23.6975 2010 7
23.6729 2006 7
23.4925 2009 8
23.4713 1926 8
23.4575 1969 7
23.4336 2005 8
23.3562 1933 8
23.323 1949 8
23.2742 2006 8
23.2649 1953 8
23.2596 1973 8
23.2428 1986 7
23.1084 1991 7
23.0714 1940 8
23.0179 2004 7

August 12, 2017 1:20 pm

Seems that “climate change” is becoming the new “act of God” for city administrators. Like in the not so distant past, “act of God” was not an insurance collectable since “God” could not be held libel and sued and so city administrators could not likewise be held libel and sued given the presumption of innocence in that they, city administrators, were not acting at or on “Gods” requests or otherwise abiding by commission or omission.

August 13, 2017 6:13 am

Good heavens, climate changes without mans involment. Canada had 2 miles of ice ontop of her 14,000 years ago it melted quickly without CO2 industrial outputs. The oceans filled and flooded Doogerland (England was not an island) and the Bering land bridge. Man needs to prepare for these changes including moving cities out of lowlands.

August 13, 2017 7:10 pm

Think of the money they saved by just pretending to maintain their generators.

Pete K
August 15, 2017 1:54 pm

I’m originally from New Orleans. Been flooding from heavy rain events ever since I can remember back to the early 60s. Even a afternoon thunderstorm would cause street flooding. Nothing has changed. All the politicians want a cut of the action. Just a matter of time before another Katrina type event happens in NOLA.

August 18, 2017 1:03 pm

Democrat Officials + Rains = Flooding (New Orleans)
Democrat Officials + No Rains = Drought (California)

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