Fix the pumps

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Meat

Regular readers of this blog know I keep the posts strictly concerned with drainage in the New Orleans area since Katrina.

But I am going to make a one-time exception because I found something so funny it must be seen to be believed. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

The Meat!

This is actually on toystore shelves right now. Here's the link on Amazon. And yes, that's a white butcher's coat to put on your Rocky Balboa action figure to simulate the scene when Rocky pounds the side of beef into meatloaf.

Greatest. Toy. Ever.

June 1? Not so much

Yesterday on WIST-690 AM here in New Orleans, Col. Jeff Bedey of the Hurricane Protection Office was interviewed (disclosure: I was interviewed in the previous segment).

The interviewer asked him point blank if the extra pumps for London Avenue (8 pumps) and 17th Street (11 pumps) would be ready June 1. Surprisingly, Col. Bedey demurred and could only say they be ready sometime during the 2007 hurricane season.

I have since heard that the acquisition of the pumps, which is being handled under this solicitation, has had its response date moved back from November 20 to December 13.

I doubt these two events are disconnected.

The Corps has not updated their pump capacity webpage to reflect this latest delay.

Col. Bedey was also asked about the definitive lack of urgency on many Katrina repair projects since June 1. These include almost all the Orleans Parish pump station projects. Col Bedey patronizingly reminded the interviewer and the listeners that "we're in a marathon, not a 10k." He said "we need to pace ourselves." I hope he can feel so self assured when bearings fail on Orleans Parish's pumps.

Bedey was referring - in the usual elliptical way the Corps speaks to the public - to the fact they are working on levee and other flood protection upgrades which were authorized in the fourth Katrina supplemental and which are supposed to be finished by 2010. However, the work on the drainage system - repairs to the S&WB facilities and completing the floodgates - was authorized and funded in the earlier third supplemental, which was for all the work that was supposed to be done by June 1. So, when it comes to that work, the Corps should be sprinting to catch up, not slowing the pace.

That slowing of the pace is immediately obvious when one looks at the Corps' completion dates on the remaining Orleans Parish Pump Station repair projects (shown on their latest schedule). They stretch almost into 2008!

The best choice for the job?

I just wanted follow up on my earlier post about the frequency changers. I have learned that the job has been subcontracted to Bollinger Quick Repair.

The entire Bollinger family of companies, which is quite large and plays a sizable role in the local economy, has had manpower problems since the storm. That is a primary reason they were not able to follow as aggressive a schedule on their pump station motor rewindings (stations 2, 3, 5, and 7) as Evans Enterprises of Oklahoma was able to on theirs (stations 1 & 6, which have been complete since August by virtue of 24/7 work by Evans). In fact, there are still two or three motors remaining to be rewound, one in station 2 and one or two in station 5. That's not a slam on Bollinger, just reality in the post-Katrina workplace around New Orleans. Also, work on those remaining motors has been suspended while the roofs at both stations were under repair, work that it fast approaching its completion.

And I'm certainly not making up this idea of manpower shortages. Here's the head of Bollinger himself, Donald Bollinger, talking about that very thing at a workboat trade show yesterday, as reported in today's Times-Picayune:
"When I wake up in the morning, I'm thinking, 'Where are we going to get enough people,' " Bollinger said. "And when I go to bed at night, it's still on my mind."

"Our customers were extremely frustrated with our inability to stand up a work force," Bollinger said. "Obviously, it's not the ideal way to operate."

One has to wonder, considering - a) that the duration of the frequency changer work at station 17 doubled from 6 months to 12 months, b) that the work was not publicly advertised, and c) knowing that Bollinger is behind on a lot of work - whether the fix was in to give Bollinger the work no matter what. They would seem to be an odd choice, when there are many, many other companies from outside the region who have not suffered any ill effects from Katrina because, well, they're outside the region. Also, Evans was told by the Corps they had done excellent work on the motor rewindings and would be given strong consideration for the frequency changer work.

My only point is that, once again, there seem to be other factors at work besides getting the work done as expeditiously as possible.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

700 gallons

Updated with important information 11/29/06. See below

I last wrote about oil spills on October 26th. Since that time, four more spills have been reported to the National Response Center. The NRC spill data is current through November 12.

The earlier post detailed how to look up information about oil spills on the National Response Center website, as well as many other bits of data about spills, so I won't go into that again.

These latest reports show spills occurring at a rate of once a week. The reports indicate that the contractors don't appear to be learning from their mistakes, with the same reason (fitting came loose while a pump was pulled) being given on November 2nd, and then again one week later.

Below you'll find the details of the four reports. These reports bring the known total of spills at all three floodgate sites to eight, seven of them reported to the NRC. I detailed the eighth, unreported spill in the earlier post. When combined with the four earlier spills, the Corps and its contractors are responsible for at least 700 gallons of oil spills at all three sites since August.

October 22, 2006

"Quantity released: 300 gallons
Description of incident: The caller is reporting a release of materials into the 17th Street Canal from a hydraulic pump due to equipment failure."

This spill was called in by the Corps.

October 31, 2006
"Quantity released: 50 gallons
Description of incident: The caller reports the RP [responsible party] was doing construction on a pump station of an internal drainage canal when a fitting dislodged on a hydraulic oil hose which resulted in the discharge of material."

This spill was called in by Boh Brothers.

Here's a WWL-TV webcam picture from October 31 showing a pump pulled on the west side of the site:

November 2, 2006

"Quantity released: 20 gallons
Description of incident: The caller states that while removing a pump for inspection and repair, oil spilled into the 17th Street Canal when the pump was lifted up out of the water."

This spill was called in by MWI, the pump manufacturer. MWI has had employees on site nearly nonstop for months now. They have their own line item on the agenda for the weekly status meetings.

Here's a picture showing a pulled pump the next day, November 3rd:

Here's a detail of the pump with the worker:

November 7, 2006

"Quantity released: 50 gallons
Description of incident: Caller stated a fitting came off of a pump as it was being pulled out of the 17th Street Canal. This resulted in the release of material into the canal."

This spill was called in by the same MWI employee as on November 2.

Here's a picture from the following day, showing the same pump pulled as on November 3rd (I can't remember if it had been put back in between November 3rd and November 8th, but I'm pretty sure it was):

11/29/06 Update
The spills keep coming. Because the National Response Center is about two weeks behind in putting reports up on their website, it takes a while to learn this stuff. But we now have positive confirmation of spills at all three sites, with the first reported spill at London Ave. on November 13th as detailed below.

There are obviously very, very serious problems with the hydraulic oil lines and power units on all 38 hydraulic pumps. If this is the kind of stuff that is happening under sunny skies with no stress on the system almost six months after their installation, will these pumps work properly if they're really needed in a hurricane?

[Update, November 30th: I've removed some overheated verbiage that was here yesterday because my reasoning didn't necessarily support my conclusions - yet.]

The Corps has to level with the public and the rest of the country. Now.

Here's the latest spill report:

November 13, 2006

"Quantity released: 10 gallons
Description of incident: The caller states that there is leak of hydraulic oil at the temporary pump station due to equipment failure. The material is discharging into a drainage canal."

This spill was reported by an MWI employee

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What is the Corps playing at?

Corrections posted 7/10/07

I've posted before about the frequency changers, and how they remain unrepaired over a year after the storm. Out of all the contracts the Corps could have issued, this one should have been the simplest (besides the roofs). Instead, they appear to be making it as complicated as possible.

When they issued the pump motor rewinding contracts in May, the Corps used a relatively simple emergency competitive bidding process that reflected the fact that the repairs were critical (never mind that they should have gotten the work started months before). But, despite the similarity of the damage, criticality, and method of repair, the frequency changer work has lain dormant. Recent moves by the Corps do very little to actually make a difference.

The Corps has issued a no-bid "set aside" contract to RES Contractors (full name Reeves Electrical Services) of Pierre Part, LA. To explain "set asides," here's Colonel Norbert Doyle, the Corps' Acting Principal Assistant Responsible Contracting (or PARC), testifying on November 2, 2005 in front of the House Katrina Committee:
"The Corps has made extensive use of standard authorities granted to us under the various small business set aside programs, especially in the area of 8(a) firms. Section 8(a) is a Small Business Administration business development authority to benefit minority owned, socially and economically disadvantaged firms. The program helps aspiring entrepreneurs build their businesses by helping them obtain government contracts. Participants can receive non-competitive awards up to $3 million during a 9-year developmental program. Many of these small companies are local and therefore are already in the area and available quickly to participate in recovery efforts."

There's a lot of information on the Small Business Administration's website about the Section 8(a) program. Under this program, RES has been classified as "Small Disadvantaged Business." I'm sure they're deserving of that classification, and I don't have a quibble with that, or with the Corps' general use of the Section 8(a) program. What I do have a quibble with is the Corps' gumming up the works on this particular contract with an extra layer of non-publicly-bid bureaucracy.

You see, RES won't actually be doing the rewinding work on the frequency changers. It will likely be subcontracted to one of two firms with offices here in the New Orleans area: Bollinger Quick Repair or Scott Armature. Both are have shops accredited by the Electical Apparatus Service Association (EASA). Both were involved in the pump motor rewinding contracts. Both are totally capable of doing the entire scope of work. In fact, Bollinger has already done partial rehabs on frequency changers 3 and 4 in Station 17. So the question is, why is the Corps doing this?

RES is not listed as an EASA member in Louisiana on EASA's website. They don't have their own webpage. Their recent work for the the Corps doesn't indicate much motor rewinding. Here's a list of recent RES contracts I was able to cobble together:

  • 10/28/05, London Ave. floodwall breach repairs and wall stabilization, $389,400.
  • 12/15/05, London Ave. floodwall breach repairs and wall stabilization, $27,533.
  • 11/11/05, 1350 KW sound attenuated fully packaged diesel generator, $96,325.
  • 12/22/05, Generator installation and fencing installation, $6995.
  • 5/1/06, Generator test, $3195.
  • 8/28/06, Rehabilitation of Plaquemines Parish Pump Stations, Electrical Services, $701,591
  • 9/28/06, design and construction of a Venice, LA, sub-office replacement building, $6,049,000.
Also, according to an August 14, 2006 article in the Times-Picayune, RES was a subcontractor on a number of FEMA trailer contracts. They also tried to get a separate contract for placement of handicapped-accessible trailers.

One other bit about RES... they are the "protege" in a "mentor-protege" relationship with the much larger Cajun Constructors, a long-time beneficiary of numerous lucrative Corps contracts. After Katrina, Cajun got the $23.9 million contract for repair of the east side wall on the Industrial Canal. With the addition of at least 13 change orders, the work grew to over $34.4 million. Cajun also received the work for the foundations on the same wall, totaling over $13 million. The Corps was so pleased with Cajun's work on the wall that they gave them Task Force Hope commerative coins, as noted in on the front page of Cajun's April 2006 newsletter.

This is slightly off topic, but those coins are a perfect example of extraordinary government waste. According to their own summary of Katrina contracts, the Corps paid a total of over $21,000 for souvenir coins in the wake of Katrina, with the first purchase coming just 23 days after the storm made landfall. A Corps employee paid Brown's Trophies of Tampa, FL $2404.60 using a Visa card on September 20, 2005, while New Orleans remained flooded. You can find the contracts on rows 1055, 1068, and 1280 of that spreadsheet. According to the Brown's Trophies website, the Corps doesn't appear to be only government agency to come calling for coins.

Getting back to the Cajun-RES mentor-protege relationship... The mentor-protege program is part of the Section 8(a) program as explained at this SBA webpage. It allows smaller companies (the protege) to team up with bigger ones (the mentor) so that the protege can have a chance at bigger contracts. However, the system also works the other way, allowing favorite government contracting giants like Northrop Grumman, EDAW, URS, Johnson Controls and dozens of similar firms yet another bite at no-bid, hardly advertised contracts supposedly intended for smaller, disadvantaged companies. Among the benefits to the mentor:

  • The mentor receives cash incentives and reimbursements from the government for being a mentor.
  • The mentor can bid for the protege's contracts through joint ventures with the protege.
  • There are no real limits on the number of proteges the mentor can sign up with (according to this press release, Northrop-Grumman has 15 active Department of Defense mentor-protege agreements. The Pentagon has its own program, which appears to be similar to the one at the SBA.)
  • The mentor can hold an ownership stake of up to 40% in the protege company.
You can find the Cajun-RES relationship, as well as many others, documented on this SBA spreadsheet. The relationship can also be traced through the Louisiana Secretary of State Corporations Database. (See corrections in following two paragraphs)

Cajun Constructors shares an address (15635 Airline Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70817) with "TIG, LLC." TIG, LLC is a company organized on the same day as "T.I.G. Enterprises" - July 5, 2005. (correction: T.I.G. Enterprises was founded in 2000, five years before TIG, LLC. While T.I.G. Enterprises and TIG, LLC have very similar names, they are definitely not the same company. I regret the error.). TIG, LLC has as its manager the owner and founder of Cajun Constructors - L. Lane Grigsby, who also has an ownership stake in at least eight other companies at 15635 Airline. Mr. Grigsby is also on the board of The Shaw Group, which has received numerous Corps and FEMA contracts since Katrina, some of which were subcontracted to Cajun (including the supply of over 40 diesel pumps to help in the unwatering effort in New Orleans).

T.I.G. Enterprises is owned by Michael Tipton of Pierre Part, who also owns RES and two other companes in Pierre Part. It would not be surprising if this mentor-protege relationship played some role in RES landing this job.

[R.E.S. has its own webpage as of early April, 2007. On their News page, they note their Mentor-Protege relationship with Cajun.]

There's another discrepancy. Here's the latest public schedule of Orleans Parish pump station repairs, as of October 19th, 2006 (click to enlarge):

As you can see, the frequency changer contract, OPS-07, is listed as a "service" contracting mechanism, not an "8(a)." There's no indication of what happened to change the type of contract.

From the outside, this appears to be typical Corps contracting shenanigans, leaving the citizens of New Orleans holding the bag.

By the way, the latest internal Corps schedule shows that the frequency changer work is not due to be completed until November, 2007. Here's a few more details from that internal schedule:

OPS-7A: Frequency changers Carrollton Building
Advertise contract: 10/19/06 (originally 8/30/06)
Award contract (notice to proceed): 11/15/06 (originally 10/6/06)
Construction complete: 7/15/07 (originally 4/6/07)
Duration of construction: 8 months (originally 6 months)

OPS-7B: Frequency changers Station 17
Advertise contract: 10/19/06 (originally 8/30/06)
Award contract (notice to proceed): 11/15/06 (originally 10/6/06)
Construction complete: 11/15/07 (originally 4/6/07)
Duration of construction: 12 months (originally 6 months)

It's bad enough that the repairs will now take far longer than previously envisioned. What's worse is that it is over a year after the storm, and the Corps still can't figure out the scope and length of work for equipment they supposedly surveyed last December. A doubling of construction time is a huge error in estimating, and raises troubling questions about the competency of the project managers leading the pump station repair efforts.

In sum, I suppose this contracting chicanery shouldn't really come as a surprise. After all, Colonel Doyle also said this in his testimony last November:
"It is our goal, however, to return to standard procurement operations as soon as possible. The Corps is currently moving in that direction."

In plain English, that translates into "business as usual."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm still here

Those of you who check in here regularly might be wondering about the lack of posts lately. I took a few days off to rest and recharge. But I'm back now.

The Corps is still going great guns in its "Back to Bureaucracy" strategy, continuing NOT to issue most contracts for the work on Orleans Parish's pump stations. I have acquired a detailed schedule, dated November 1, 2006. It shows the Corps' plans to have contractors working in the pump stations all through next year's hurricane season, until the middle of November, 2007.

Of the eleven post-Katrina pump station repair contracts, work has been completed on just one. We are now fifteen months after the storm and thirteen months after the Corps authorized itself to work outside its normal strangling regulations to repair the pump stations. The Corps should use that authority, as it recognizes the emergency through which New Orleans is still suffering. The Corps' lackadaisical attitude does nothing to help, it only extends the emergency.

I'll be posting more details on this in the coming days about this.

Monday, November 13, 2006

More floodgates followup - urgency

I've written quite extensively about how the Corps has allowed its contractors at the floodgates to go back to treating the critical work on those sites as everyday 9 to 5 jobs, no more important than routine maintenance of their dredging boat or working on some study not due to be complete for three years. Unfortunately, that's continuing to this day.

The beauty of pictures is that they don't lie. If you've been reading this blog over the last month, you've seen me post a lot of pictures of the floodgates, and I've provided interpretation for the various things in those pictures.

However, there is a common element in almost all those pictures: a distinct lack of work on site when there should be some.

Here's a series of shots, some during the day, some at night, some during the week, some on weekends. The common thread is that there is no one working at the site at the time the photos were taken. This is scandalous, considering how important this work is, and also the obvious need for extensive, weeks-long testing and troubleshooting once the work is complete (most of the pumps are still vibrating, over four months after the Corps first announced the problem. It's likely they knew about it long before that announcement).

London Avenue, October 11:

Orleans Ave, October 11 (while there are contractors working on the discharge pipes, no one's working on the pumps behind them):

Orleans Avenue, October 21st:

Orleans Avenue October 21st, 8:30 AM (October 21st was a Saturday. Obviously, the Corps has given contractors at Orleans Ave the weekend off):

17th Street, November 5, 5:00 PM:

London Avenue, First week of November, after dark:

17th Street, First week of November, after dark (this is a previously unpublished Deep Flood photo):

And of course, we can always look at WWL's webcam of 17th Street. Here it is tonight/this morning:

Not a soul in sight.

Here's what 17th Street is supposed to look like:

This picture is taken from an article posted to Time Magazine's website on May 21, 2006. The article is titled "You're On Your Own" and can be found here. Look at how the site is lit up like a stadium. Why in the world isn't that happening now? How is it things are less urgent now, and apparently have been for four months (when work stopped being 24/7), dating all the way back to just after the anniversary of Katrina?

I guess this is what they mean when people say the Corps is back to "business as usual." I hope they can account for this laziness if they're called to account next storm season, knock on wood!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wandering around London Avenue floodgates

Security isn't just bad at 17th Street. The London Avenue floodgates aren't very well secured either.

Here's some pictures from early November, sent to me by Deep Flood. They show a few things:

1) As I mentioned in an earlier post, the fencing on the east engine platform is not finished. That is stil the case. It was supposed to be completed by October 14, but the contractor, M.R. Pittman, is weeks behind on this minor, easy part of the job. In the process, the American people are not getting their money's worth, specifically the $120,000 M.R. Pittman charged for all the fencing on the site.

The consequences are simple: the east engine platform is wide open. People can wander up to the raised floor and look around. There, they'll find the gate to the engine area unsecured:

This gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the problems with the hydraulic engines, mentioned in the Times-Picayune's latest article about the vibration problems at the floodgates:
"Not all the new pumps pulsate at unacceptable levels when they're run, but some of the pumps at all three canals are experiencing the problem at different levels, St. Germain said.
'We now believe we've isolated the issue to the hydraulic motors, and we're focusing on those at present, and our contractors are working with us to get to the bottom of this,' he said.
Those contractors include the Texas-based company that manufactured the motors.
Once a cause is identified, St. Germain said, a solution will be devised and implemented."
The Texas-based company is Rineer Hydraulics.

Thanks to the lack of security, Deep Flood got a look at the work on two of the hydraulic power unit engines (these are what provide the power to turn the hydraulic motors mentioned above):

2) It's not just the east engine platform that's easy to access. Take a look at the discharge manifold on the west side:

3) A ladder's not the only way to get on to the west side equipment. The Corps and the contractors leave this gangway in place permanently, rather than moving it onshore at the end of each days' work:

This allows access to all six west side pumps and their very expensive instrumentation. The Corps should really have M.R. Pittman put this gangway on the shore each evening. Considering how many cranes they've got on the site, it wouldn't be that much trouble.

One would think a military organization like the Corps would be far more concerned with the security of vital, expensive equipment. But apparently, they're not.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Last Wednesday, November 1st, the Jefferson Parish Council had the Corps (specifically senior pumping project manager Jim St. Germain) brief them on the status of work at the 17th Street Canal. St. Germain confirmed much of what I've reported here, although his estimate of pumping capacity at 17th Street (4060 cubic feet per second, or cfs) is a little high, considering the Corps has been pulling, replacing - and pulling again - pumps on the west side over the last two weeks. I'd estimate the capacity somewhere around 3500 to 3700 cfs, especially when one takes into account capacity reductions due to vibrations, as mentioned in the Times-Picayune on November 5th:
"While the pumps, which currently are out of the water at all three sites, can be operated, if necessary, before the vibrations are corrected, St. Germain said the capacity of vibrating pumps would be reduced somewhat."

However, that's not what I'd like to emphasize about the meeting.

What is interesting is that the Corps offered to attend any civic association meetings and give updates to neighborhoods any time they're called.

Apparently that willingness to chat doesn't extend to the elected representatives of the people of New Orleans.

This past Monday, November 6, just 5 days after the Corps said they'd talk any time to anyone, the Corps blew off the New Orleans City Council. Specifically, they blew off the Public Works Committee of the City Council.

The Public Works Committee has four members: District B Councilperson Stacy Head (who serves as chair), District A Councilperson Shelley Midura, District D Councilperson Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, and Council President Oliver Thomas. All four attended the hearing. The Committee has jurisdiction over such matters as streets, parking, and drainage. The hearing was intended to be an update to citizens on such matters.

The Sewerage and Water Board was represented by Executive Director Marcia St. Martin and Public Affairs Director Robert Jackson. The Corps did not send anyone.

At the end of Ms. St. Martin's testimony, she said she had to go because she had to get to a meeting with Corps in ten minutes. Stacy Head said the following to Ms. St. Martin:
"I have a message for you to deliver to the Army Corps of Engineers. We have been contacting them about this meeting since 10/23/06. We've left voice messages, emails, faxes, and we've not received the respect of attendance by the Corps. So I'd appreciate if you'd deliver that message, since obviously my messages to them fall on deaf ears. And I just want to thank you so much for giving us the respect as a City Council to come here today."

The Corps, despite having been contacted repeatedly for two weeks, couldn't make time for an hour's worth of testimony about drainage to the elected representatives of the people they are supposedly tasked to protect? Congress has appropriated over $750 million to the Corps since Katrina to be used for drainage repairs and improvements in New Orleans. We, as citizens, have a right to the bare minimum of a status update and the opportunity to have questions answered in a citywide public forum. Especially because the Corps has only appeared in front of the City Council on drainage matters a single time since Katrina: June 22, 2006.

Massive security upgrades at 17th Street floodgates

Updated, see below

The Corps has installed an upgrade to address the security shortfalls at 17th Street, about which I've written twice (on September 29th and October 26th) . Here's a picture of the east side of the site where there's supposed to be a fence (the picture is taken from outside the construction perimeter of the site):

What, you can't see the security enhancements?

Let's zoom in to the highlighted area:

The top sign says "No Trespassing." The bottom one says "Authorized Personnel Only."

That's just as good as an eight foot tall fence with three strands of barbed wire.

[Update, 7/9/07:
The Corps eventually got its contractor to put up the fence where it belonged. It went up in November or December, 2006. This shot of the east drive platform from June of 2007 shows the fence in the foreground:

end update]

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Corps admits they've screwed up pump station repairs

A few days ago, the Corps changed their Hurricane Protection System webpage a bit. Well, it was only a tiny bit - they changed the background from blue to an odd graph-paper pattern.

There were also a couple of new uploads. The first was a new "newsletter" (read: propaganda). The second is a pair of new files detailing the "progress" on all of their post-Katrina work. The first file of the pair details the work of the 135-member Hurricane Protection Office. You can link to it on the Corps' page here, or you can get it from my online file storage here. Here's the particular table listing most of the work on the Orleans Parish pump stations:

The schedule for the award of projects OPS-06 through OPS-10 has now moved to the fourth quarter of this year. That is the fourth different deadline for awarding those projects. Earlier deadlines were in early May, early August, and "sometime" in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2006 (Jul 1-Sep 30, 2006). We are now over a month into the fourth quarter of this year, and there's no indication the work will go out for bid anytime soon. Don't take my word for it. Look at the Corps' own progress report on projects OPS-06, -07, -08, -09, and -10:

Yes, that's ZERO percent.

This is work that was authorized in an unprecedented exception to the Corps' own regulations in October, 2005 (13 months ago). It was officially funded by the 3rd Katrina supplemental bill (signed Dec. 30, 2005, 11 months ago), and the Corps issued guidance on how to spend the money on February 14, 2006 (almost 9 months ago).

There's absolutely no excuse for this work to remain undone. None!

By the way, there's one other bit of work at the Orleans Parish pump stations the Corps has fallen down on. They were supposed to finish off the installation of backup 60-cycle generators and fuel tanks at Pump Station 6, at the southern end of the 17th Street canal - work started last year by the Sewerage & Water Board. This work is apparently not important either.

As you can see, both contracts were due to be awarded sometime during the third quarter of this year (June-September).

According to the progress-o-meter:

Yep, ZERO percent again. Oddly, this says the fuel tank contract has been awarded, but I haven't seen that at all on the Corps' "Award/Bid Results" page. I'll check up on it. I wouldn't be surprised, since the pump station roofing repair contract was not publicly bid either.

Why is this happening? Simple - they just don't care.

Update, 7/23/07:
The generator work at PS#6 was not started until November 17, 2006. More details here.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Flood mitigation meeting

Allow me to take off my drainage advocate hat for a bit and put on my flood mitigation hat...

I've got a meeting announcement:

Broadmoor flood mitigation study unveiling
UNO's Center for Hazards Assessment, Response, and Technology (CHART) will present findings of its area study of flood mitigation and repetitive flood losses in Broadmoor. The study is the only of its kind to be conducted in New Orleans. The public is invited to review the draft report, comment, and discuss the findings with the study authors and representatives from FEMA.

Where: St. Mathais Church, 4230 South Broad St.
When: 6:30 PM, Monday, November 6, 2006

If you'd like to take a look at what an "area study" looks like, you examine one that CHART did earlier this year for the Maplewood subdivision on the west bank of Jefferson Parish. The report can be found here:

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