Uptown homeowners frustrated over skyrocketing S&WB bills

Video and story by Madison Mcloughlin, Pack News

Uptown homeowner Mark Heller noticed what he said had to be a mistake in one of his Sewerage & Water Board bills several months ago. What was usually a bill for around $100 was now a bill for $697 for a single month. There was no explanation. “I would expect there to be a small flood somewhere in my yard with a bill that size, but we don’t see any leaks anywhere,” he said. Heller is not alone in his frustration.

Sewerage & Water Board liable for damage from SELA construction, judge rules

Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Nakisha Ervin-Knott ruled that the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board is legally responsible for the substantial damages caused to more than 350 Uptown homes and businesses as a result of construction of the massive SELA drainage project. The court on Monday, Jan. 6, granted the plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment, finding the city agency the sole responsible party for claims of inverse condemnation, custodial liability and timber pile-driving claims.

According to plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Whitaker, all that is left now is for each claimant to prove the extent of the damage to their property. The ruling means claimants who provide evidence of damage will have their claims more swiftly decided and judgment entered in their favor. Trial on the next 20 claims is set for Tuesday, Jan.

Yearlong road repairs will begin soon in Freret Street area; meeting to provide details

The city’s Department of Public Works and the Sewerage & Water Board has planned extensive road repairs in the Freret Street area. A public meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 8, will provide residents an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming Freret Group A project and get their questions addressed, according to a notice from District B Councilman Jay Banks’ office. Roadwork NOLA is hosting the meeting to discuss the repairs scheduled to begin soon in the Freret Street area. They will include:

• Repaving the asphalt roadway from curb-to-curb;
• Patching the roadway with asphalt or concrete;
• Repairing damaged sidewalks with driveway aprons;
• Installing Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps at intersection; and
• Replacing/repairing damaged underground water, sewer, and/or drainage lines.

Army Corps of Engineers is giving Napoleon Avenue neutral ground a makeover

By Emily Carmichael, Uptown Messenger

The Napoleon Avenue neutral ground between Claiborne Avenue and Magnolia Street is in the process of getting a face lift, one designed with both beauty and floodwaters in mind. The new trees and walkway may look like simple landscaping to a passerby, but is actually what the Army Corp of Engineers calls “green space restoration,” a technique that has been shown to reduce flooding. The restoration is part of the Army Corp of Engineer’s Southeast Louisiana Flood Control Project, a $2 billion set of infrastructure improvements meant to reduce the risk of flooding in the event of heavy rain. This is the same project that oversaw the installation of a canal under Napoleon Avenue, the construction that disrupted Carnival celebrations for many in New Orleans. A portion of this neutral ground lies on the parade route and is prime space to set up camp for parade viewing.

SELA drainage canals didn’t increase flooding on July 10, report finds

The intensity of the July 10 rainfall — with as much as 9 inches in three hours — overwhelmed the city’s pumping and drainage system. Streets were inundated, and many became impassable; cars were submerged; homes and businesses flooded; and the tally of damages went far beyond an annoying commute. Among the rumors circulating after the deluge was the claim that the massive Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Program, or SELA, construction project, designed to reduce the flood risk in certain low-lying areas, hindered the drainage capacity in other areas of the city. The S&WB and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are in the final stages of the east bank portion of the federally funded $1.5 billion SELA construction of underground drainage canals. The completed projects are primarily Uptown — in Hollygrove and along Jefferson, Napoleon and Louisiana avenues.

City is planning flood-control initiative

Cars again filled neutral grounds as commuters again navigated their routes to avoid flooded streets on Monday, when 3 to 5 inches of rain fell in a matter of hours. And again, cars stalled, traffic slowed or stopped, and businesses flooded despite sandbag barricades. There’s no stopping the rain, but the city is preparing a major flood-control initiative, Ramsey Green, the mayor’s top aide for infrastructure, told Uptown Messenger last week. “The city, together with the Sewerage & Water Board and the corps, is looking at how can we get some answers,” Green said. The Army Corps of Engineers, the S&WB and the city’s Public Works Department are conducting subsurface analytics of the city’s drainage system, Green said, primarily concentrating on areas where drainage is especially slow.

City: Major funding awarded to elevate repeatedly flooded homes

from the City of New Orleans

Today (June 12), the City of New Orleans announced the award of $12.5 Million in grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program. Those dollars will fund the elevation of more than 50 pre-identified homes in New Orleans that have experienced repeated and severe flooding. Twenty-two of those homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “Flood mitigation has to remain a constant priority for me and our residents as we learn better how to live with water,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “This is a huge win for the City of New Orleans.

City suspends parking restrictions as heavy rain moves into the area

From the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Residents are encouraged to prepare for heavy rainfall and potential flooding through Friday, June 7. Numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected across the New Orleans region through Friday, some of which could cause heavy rainfall leading to ponding of water in low-lying areas and areas of poor drainage. Rainfall totals between 2 to 6 inches are expected across the area with locally higher amounts possible through Saturday afternoon. The greatest threat of flooding in the metro area is currently forecast to be on Thursday, June 6, with a “Slight” to “Moderate” risk of excessive rainfall, according to the National Weather Service. A Flash Flood Watch will be in effect in New Orleans tonight through Thursday evening.

Columbus: Stormwater management fee is key to long-term flood reduction

Sewerage & Water Board Director Ghassan Korban was very clear in his remarks at the Bureau of Governmental Research on Tuesday morning. When it rains as hard and fast as it did early Sunday, May 12, expect flooding. Our antiquated drainage system just can’t keep up. Like thousands of New Orleanians, we spent Sunday mopping up flood residue and drying out our cars. Guests at the neighboring short-term rentals, caught off-guard, stood in line for our shop vac.

City update on severe weather, flooding

from the City of New Orleans
Updated 11 a.m. 5/13/2019

New Orleans officials released the following information following heavy rains and thunderstorms that moved through the metro area Sunday morning. More than five inches of rain fell in parts of the city between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., with bouts of heavy rain at rates of two inches an hour and higher sparking Flash Flood Warnings. Widespread street flooding was reported throughout the city. Observed flooding in some areas took notably longer to drain. Those areas include:

Area bounded by Canal Boulevard, West End Boulevard, City Park Avenue, and Filmore Avenue
Broad Street and Orleans Avenue corridors
Banks Street corridor
Franklin Avenue at I-610/I-10 overpass
Napoleon Avenue from Claiborne Avenue to Broad Street