Fix the pumps

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Quick update on the pumps at the floodgates

Here's the actual dope on what's going on with pumps at the floodgates, as opposed to the disingenuous summary put out by the Corps on their "Schedule of Pump Capacity" webpage:

17th Street: One pump on the west side is pulled and is on the ground. You can see this on WWL's webcam:

The two extra pumps on the east side that were supposed to be running on September 30th are still not ready. The actual capacity is somewhere around 3700 cubic feet per second (cfs).

The Corps claims 4060 cfs. This is actually a math error when one considers the number of pumps they say should have been running on September 30th - which is 14 plus the rental pumps on the structure deck. If one does the math properly, the Corps should be claiming about 4520 cfs as of September 30th. When one considers the unreliability of the pumps due to vibrations, the actual capacity might be far lower.

Also, the schedule says that four more pumps on the west side of the canal should be running October 31st. That's untrue. The platform to hold them and their engines isn't even built yet. Those four pumps won't be ready before Christmas, if the Corps and Boh Brothers is lucky.

Oh, and by the way, they still aren't working nights. Here's October 30th's photo from WWL's webcam:

Orleans Avenue: All five pumps on the east side are still pulled out, as I mentioned in my recent post on oil spills, and as you can see below:

This has been the case for at least three weeks now. This leaves 1100 cfs of pumping capacity, not 2200 as the Corps claims.

London Avenue: The Corps has MWI (the pump manufacturer) working on the engines on two of the pumps on the east side. This probably means those pumps are out of commission, leaving approximately 2200 cfs of pumping capacity, not 2800 as the Corps claims.

The Schedule on the website says it was updated on October 23rd. It's clear the person doing the updating has never been to the floodgate work sites, or they wouldn't be putting out these obvious distortions of the truth.

And yes, I realize this is a mostly academic distinction, considering the floodgates are not going to need be closed (though I hope it never comes to that!) until next hurricane season at the earliest. But why should we trust these folks if they can't even put out the most basic of information?


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