Sunday, August 12, 2012
Early Saturday morning, flash floods and two to four inches of rainfall moved through St. John Parish resulting in pockets of street flooding in low-lying areas in Reserve and LaPlace.
Public Works and Utilities crews were dispatched at the onset of the rain event to monitor drainage pumps and lift stations throughout the Parish. All drainage pumps were functioning at full capacity; however, at around 8:00 a.m. the Homewood pumps began running at about 1400 revolutions per minute (rpm) instead of the maximum 1900 rpms, and the suction line on one pump did not function properly. Debris from canals and ditches leading to the pumps accumulated in the retention area near the suction lines resulting in street flooding on Homewood Dr. The interdepartmental drainage team was on hand to address the problems and made contact with the pump manufacturer, Pantropic Pumps and Louisiana Machinery to assess and correct the problem. Auxillary pumps were mobilized to the Homewood site until the pumps returned to full capacity at about 7:30 p.m.
Once Louisiana Machinery restored operations of the south side pump and the water level was lowered, the source of the problem was determined to be a large mass of tree limbs and branches recently cut and thrown into the canal. This jammed the pumps, causing them to pump at a lower rate and ultimately shutting down. A representative from Pantropics Pumps of Miami was on site today installing additional gauges to foster a more comprehensive preventive maintenance system. Additionally, a metal screen is being fabricated for the Homewood pump to prevent this from recurring.
High water was a problem on NW3rd and NW2nd Streets in Reserve and those roads were closed temporarily until water levels receded at approximately 10:30 a.m. Street flooding was also reported on Redbud St., Paula Dr., Woodland Dr., Cannes Dr., and Water Plant Road in LaPlace. Once the rain subsided, water levels in streets and low-lying areas subsided.
The threat of strong thunderstorms ended for the remainder of the day, but isolated thunderstorms are possible each day through Thursday. Residents are asked to use caution when on the roads during heavy rain events. For the latest weather information tune in to local weather stations.
IESI, St. John Parish's solid waste collection provider reported approximately 20 garbage cans were not picked up as a result of high water on Gardenia Street in LaPlace Park; however, residents were asked to place their carts by the road on Monday, August 13 for pick-up.