The "eye" of former Hurricane "Harvey" has returned to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the storm is once again STRENGTHENING. Sustained winds have now increased to 45 MPH with stronger gusts. Surface water temperatures are 88-90 degrees which will provide intense energy for the storm to rapidly increase again.
Lake Charles Louisiana is already flooding. Baton Rouge is under flash flood warning and New Orleans is in grave danger from "catastrophic" flooding as nine inches of rain are projected to fall over the next 24 hours. The flood pumps in New Orleans are OFFLINE. The city cannot handle this rain and will flood. Residents are advised right now (by me) to begin evacuating the city. The weather people were all wrong on rainfall totals for Houston. If they're wrong again, New Orleans will be wrecked. Residents should get out now, before highways around New Orleans become flooded like they did around Houston, making evacuation IMPOSSIBLE.
Below is a wind-image from the GEOS-5 weather satellite in space. It shows the eye of Harvey considerably out over warm water where it can strengthen rapidly .Remember, Harvey went from a Category 2 hurricane, to a category 4 in a mere 24 hours while over this warm water approaching Texas. That strengthening can happen AGAIN.
But even if wind speeds don't become dangerous, FLOODING from the bands and bands of rainfall can do far worse to New Orleans than they did to Houston.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters one of the city’s pumps broke just one week after being repaired, sparking worries about the rest of the city’s pumping system as Tropical Storm Harvey makes its way north.
The pump broke on Monday as Harvey brought rains to the city. New Orleans is expected to get between five and 10 inches of rain through Thursday, but flooding could be made worse if the city’s pumping system breaks down.
On August 10, local media in New Orleans confirmed that 16 of the city's pumps are broken!
The Sewerage and Water Board is now counting a total of 16 pumps out of service as of Thursday morning (Aug. 10), raising the number of pumps from 14 that City Council members were told Tuesday were not working.
Sewerage and Water Board members on Thursday approved emergency procurement authorization to make repairs to the following pumping stations:
(Drainage pump refers to pumps that remove water during rain events; constant duty pumps refer to ground water pumps that maintain levels of water in drainage canals due to seepage from ground water.)
- Drainage Pumping Station No. 1: One drainage pump and one constant duty pump
- Drainage Pumping Station No. 5: Two constant duty pumps
- Drainage Pumping Station No. 6: One drainage pump
- Drainage Pumping Station No. 11: One drainage pump
- Drainage Pumping Station No. 15: One drainage pump
- Drainage Pumping Station No. 20: One drainage pump
- Drainage Pumping Station Grant: Two constant duty pumps.
Seven of the pumps that were out during Saturday's rain storms and subsequent flooding did not contribute to flooding. Those pumps were in Algiers and New Orleans East.
Local radio stations in New Orleans are now reporting that all 16 pumps BROKE AGAIN - yesterday!!!
The mayor also said pump C at Station 6, which is on the 17th Street Canal and serves Lakeview, went down during Monday's storms. https://t.co/9N9mvYVLpC— New Orleans Advocate (@theadvocateno) August 28, 2017
Officials aren’t sure if they can fix the pumps in time for Harvey.
New Orleans’s pumping system wasn’t able to stop flooding in early August when a storm resulted in widespread flooding. Sewerage and Water Board director Cedric Grant blamed climate change for the floods, but it turned out the city’s antiquated pumping system was to blame.
Many of the city’s 120 pumps were offline or working at partial capacity due to fires and the fact some of them rely on an antiquated power system to keep the pumps going. Taxpayers have funneled billions of dollars into the pumping system.
The Obama administration gave New Orleans $2 billion in 2015 to upgrade its infrastructure, a portion of which was supposed to go towards the pump system. Experts say $9 billion is needed to fully upgrade the system, according to CNN.
Now, the city faces Harvey with diminished pumping capacity. Much of the city is below sea level.
Landrieu urged residents to stay home and wait out the storm. (Just like the Mayor of Houston told HIS City - and thousands became TRAPPED as floodwaters cut-off evacuation routes.) Don't make the same mistake that Houston made, you should EVACUATE NEW ORLEANS NOW.
Harvey is expected to move into the Gulf of Mexico before moving up the coast through Louisiana.