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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)—With tropical storm Nicholas expected to be mostly a rain event affecting our area, the City of New Orleans is asking people that live here to help out with drainage.

Beau Tidwell, NOLA’s Communications Director stated, “For residents, we’re reminding you that’s it’s vital to keep storm debris away from the storm drains and to pull in trash containers where possible.”

That’s a tall order considering that the city has only removed 5% of the Hurricane Ida debris and it’s slow going with trash collections, and while the city awarded debris removal contracts in advance of the storm, they now say they should also have awarded additional trash collection contracts early on as well

“In this instance, our expectation was that the contractor would perform at a level it turns out they were not able to do. So knowing that and knowing what the impact is certainly that’s something we would look at for next time.”

We then asked whether debris pickup resources could be used to catch up garbage collection, Tidwell stated, “To be clear with you, I’m not certain what the details of their contract is that would make that possible or not, I do know that broadly we have to do that in 2 separate categories.”

And while storm debris will certainly pose a challenge to drains this week, we challenged Tidwell on the city’s current pick-up priorities.

“Fair enough, but I would say I think it’s a hypothetical, right? The debris pickup is happening more quickly than sanitation, so it’s less of a front of mind problem,” said Tidwell.