Cantrell on city's preparations for rain events


Some home and business owners haven't fully dried out after Friday's flooding. Mayor LaToya Cantrell will update the public on the city's readiness to handle severe weather during a news conference on Tuesday.

Marcie Edwards, the Interim Director of the Sewerage and Water Board, said everything was working as it should on Friday, but there was always room for improvement.

Cantrell will be holding a press conference to talk about the city's preparations for rain events.

During the news conference Cantrell will be joined by her director of homeland security, the police and fire chiefs and emergency medical services director.

Friday's rainstorms were the first weather event the new mayor had to deal with. Less than two weeks since her inauguration,and with two weeks to go until the official start of hurricane season.

The Sewerage and Water Board said 115 out of 120 pumps were operating on Friday. They also said at one point more than six inches of rain fell.

With rain chances filling the forecast for the foreseeable future, the press conference is expected to discuss the water that filled the streets on Friday and the new mayor's plan of action.

Tuesday is the Sewerage and Water Board's interim executive director's last day on the job.

She said Friday that the system kept up, but that the city needs to invest more if it wants more out of the system.

"I've looked at everywhere there was street flooding and I think the system generally kept up," Edwards said. "Does it need to be extended? Does it need to have additional investment? Absolutely.

Edwards said all of the pumps need to be renovated and expanded, especially if weather events deliver so much rain in short periods of time. 

Monday night two candidates were chosen to fill the executive director's job at the Sewerage and Water Board temporarily.

Cantrell has not yet made a decision, but could announce it at the press conference.

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