By Michelle Krupa
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has requested the resignations of four top officials, including the director and the top engineer at the municipal water utility, after a historic rainstorm flooded homes and exposed critical weaknesses in the city’s unique drainage pumping operation.
Meanwhile, with more heavy thunderstorms predicted through the weekend, property owners cleared damage from the deluge and braced for another potential onslaught. The breakdown Saturday in the drainage system, which led to the flooding of “a couple hundred” properties, highlighted the challenges posed by New Orleans’ aging infrastructure — a problem mirrored in roads, bridges, water pipes and sewer plants across the nation, Landrieu told CNN.
“Because of the visuals of (Hurricane) Katrina, people keep thinking New Orleans is different than everybody else,” the mayor said. “It is absolutely true that the infrastructure in this country is crumbling at a scary pace, and what you just witnessed was infrastructure … that was unable to keep up with our threats.”