Keeping operations going and drainage pumps running at the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) during an extreme weather event is a critical function for New Orleans, a city that sits 20 feet below sea level. Emergency plans are well in place at SWBNO and when Hurricane Ida hit, everyone went into action, including our Avenu staff who were shoulder-to-shoulder with SWBNO.
Together, SWBNO and Avenu staff worked on-site through power and mechanical issues to keep the pumps operational to drain water out of the city. When the entire city lost power, the generators kicked in and the team did not experience any major failures. In fact, the storm tore the electrical grid to pieces and the city was without power for two weeks.
The camaraderie among this team of men and women has been described as a “band of brothers.” What makes it remarkable is the sacrifice each person makes by being away from their family or loved ones during a storm of this magnitude knowing that power would be lost making communications difficult and at times impossible. Every member of the SWBNO / Avenu team experienced property damage and some of those team members lost their home.
“I am completely humbled and honored to work with this team of stand-up men and women. They are filled with integrity and character,” shared Guy Lombard, Avenu’s Program Manager. “Our SWBNO / Avenu team has been together for over 20 years, and it’s painful to see how much loss and destruction has occurred. I am so proud to be a part of this team.”