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Monday, August 7, 2017

Edwards, Landrieu, other officials inspect flood damage in Treme

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 3:37 PM

click to enlarge Gov. John Bel Edwards, center, and Mayor Mitch Landrieu toured a flooding spot in Treme this afternoon.
  • Gov. John Bel Edwards, center, and Mayor Mitch Landrieu toured a flooding spot in Treme this afternoon.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, various state senators and representatives, along with a few City Councilmembers, stopped at Willie Mae's Scotch House in Treme this afternoon to discuss the weekend's flood.

Landrieu, who arrived in town this morning from Aspen, Colorado, where he was attending a security conference, toured the restaurant with owner Kerry Seaton Stewart and did a walk-through of a flooded apartment across the street, where a drum kit and a keyboard were among the things that seemed to have taken on water.

"You never know what Mother Nature is gonna throw at you," Edwards said, adding that the state was still assessing the situation to determine whether formal emergency aid would be requested. "We're not bashful about asking for assistance when it's needed," he added.

"New Orleans has suffered more than its fair share [of tragedies]," Landrieu told the crowd, referencing Hurricane Katrina, the federal levee collapses and the BP oil disaster, among other things. He called Saturday's flood — in which some parts of the city took on 9 inches of rain in about three hours — "a 50- to 100-year event." Landrieu took issue with a statement by Sewerage & Water Board head Cedric Grant, who said climate change contributed to the flooding. "I don't agree with that statement," Landrieu said. "I think it was said in the spirit of the moment."

click to enlarge Mayor Mitch Landrieu tours a flooded apartment on St. Ann St. in Treme.
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu tours a flooded apartment on St. Ann St. in Treme.
Landrieu also said he was commissioning an "after-action report" to determine what the city did well and what it could have done better; that report, he said, would include both reports on the state of the municipal pumping system and the performance of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), though he noted that NOPD could do little about people driving through flooded neighborhoods. "Most important," he said, "show your neighbors respect."

State Sens. J.P. Morrell, Karen Carter Peterson and State Reps. Helena Moreno, Joe Bouie and Gary Carter were among the politicians who showed up, as did District D Councilman Jared Brossett. Mayoral candidate Michael Bagneris also was there. Shortly after the press conference, fellow mayoral candidate and District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell posted images of herself touring the Broad Theater, which flooded twice in as many weeks, and the Zulu den.

Morrell is convening a town hall on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Lakefront Airport "to brief the public on state hurricane preparedness and the status of local flood control structures," and the City Council will directly address flooding concerns — including whether the pumps were working properly — at a meeting Tuesday at 1 p.m.

After the tour and a press conference, the politicians moved on to the Zulu den on N. Broad Street, which was badly flooded during the storm, and were then planning to move on to Lakeview.

click to enlarge The interior of Willie Mae's Scotch House restaurant, which was flooded in the Aug. 5 rains.
  • The interior of Willie Mae's Scotch House restaurant, which was flooded in the Aug. 5 rains.

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