Greater New Orleans Republicans PAC & Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee Call on Federal & State Authorities to Investigate the New Orleans Sewage & Water Board (S&WB)

August 10, 2017--9:31 PM CDT

NEW ORLEANS, LA – In the overnight hours of August 9, 2017 it was reported that a fire damaged the S&WB’s redundant power source (“Turbine #1”). This failure would render pumps “west of the Industrial Canal” inoperable if the primary power supply from Entergy was interrupted. This resulted in a State of Emergency being declared for Orleans Parish by Governor John Bel Edwards. All Orleans Parish Public Schools as well as Courts, City Hall and other governmental entities are closed Thursday, August 10 and Friday, August 11 “out of an abundance of caution” considering rain and thunderstorms forecast for the area – a typical weather pattern for this time of year. The final straw was the revelation today that some vital pieces of S&WB equipment have been inoperable for at least 4 years without any notice to the public.

It is clear to the members of the GNOR PAC and Orleans Parish Republican Executive Committee that the major deficiencies, damages and outstanding maintenance to the City’s drainage system – including its pumps, power supply and catch basins did not take root beginning on August 5, 2017 or July 22, 2017. Rather, systemic problems with the S&WB have been ongoing only to manifest themselves ‘publicly’ in the current crisis. These problems may be a result of serious malfeasance and neglect by the officers and leadership of the S&WB – an organization wholly funded by taxpayer dollars. GNOR PAC and OPREC call on the U.S. Attorney General for the Eastern District of Louisiana and/or the Louisiana Attorney General to conduct investigations into the S&WB including, but not limited to, contracting practices, appropriation of funds and appointment of officers and other leadership positions who draw salaries based on taxpayer dollars.

The apparent failure of the City’s drainage system, a service vital to our existence, is shocking considering hundreds of millions of taxpayer monies allocated for system maintenance, repair and salaries to pay for “expert” leadership. Only a truly independent investigation by the U.S. Attorney and/or Louisiana Attorney General can provide the Citizens of New Orleans with answers as to why the management of the City’s drainage system has failed.