Landrieu: Fire-damaged turbine repaired, coming back online today

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NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Landrieu said a turbine that was damaged in a fire Wednesday night has been repaired and is slowly coming back online.

At a 9 a.m. press conference, Landrieu said more than a dozen electricians have been working overtime to repair the turbine, which was taken off line after a fire broke out in an electrical panel on Wednesday night.

“The repair has been made successfully, as of last night,” Landrieu said. “At this time, though, they continue to test it and to low-load it slowly, and they report that as of right now it’s doing well. We expect that it will gradually come back online throughout the day if the tests are successful.”

Despite that fire-damaged turbine coming back online, Landrieu said “we will be back at where we were on Saturday,” referring to the August 5 flooding that swamped much of the city and left floodwaters standing in Mid City and Lakeview until nearly midnight.

“In my mind, and I think in the minds of the people, it’s not enough, because we need more backup power for the Entergy power that we have that, as you know, goes out from time to time,” he said.

To address that issue, the city placed an order for 26 two-megawatt backup generators that will be put in place to back up the city’s pumping system.

Some of those backup generators have already been delivered, a dozen will arrive today, and the rest will arrive from Miami on Sunday.

The goal is to create a great deal of redundancy throughout the system to prevent a breakdown like the one the city experienced this week, Landrieu said.

While a “deluge” or a hurricane would still overwhelm the system, Landrieu said normal summer rainstorms are all that is on the forecast for the near future.

“There is no need, as I have said many times, for panic,” Landrieu said. “Panic is not where we need to be right now. There’s no need for it, but we do have to be vigilant. What is clear to me today is that we remain at risk, I believe, if a major storm comes until we get additional turbines back up, which we expect by the end of this month.”

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