Parts of the Central Business District streets are flooded after heavy rains

Parts of the Central Business District streets are flooded after heavy rains on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024.

The headline says it all: “Widespread flooding all over New Orleans.”

Yes, that's because our citizens don’t really care, and the drain grates have never been properly installed with expanded metal that prevents the following unethical and un-neighborly deeds:

  • Shoving bags and styrofoam food containers into the grates
  • Blowing leaves and street debris into the drains — actions taken by neighbors and by professional landscaping hired help
  • Pouring excess paint into the drains when a job is completed
  • Stuffing a full doggie-do bag through the grates.

Yes, I’ve seen it all and have actually asked professional lawn care workers where their leaf bags are. One actually told me the homeowner “didn’t want to pay for bagging and instructed us to blow everything into the drain.”

Are we New Orleanians so irresponsible that we delight in destroying our infrastructure, then we blame the city government for our own vandalism?

Will the city ever work on a permanent solution to trapping leaves, debris and carnival throws, or will we continue to spend thousands (or millions?) protecting and/or cleaning our drainage system several times per year?

I have written to the City Council at least twice over the years, suggesting a permanent solution by welding expanded metal to the inside of every drainage grate. It will stop leaves and garbage from clogging our drainage system.

I don’t believe the problem is with the Sewerage & Water Board. We are all at fault if we have ever let one leaf or piece of paper or plastic fall into the drains in our own blocks, whether at the corners or our driveway entrances. Yes, we, the people have done this. Now let's stymie those who cause problems by building a permanent solution against leaves, beads and trash.

LYDIA BEZOU-HOJNACKI

New Orleans?

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