A New Orleans official said “climate change” caused recent flooding in the city, even though broken water pumps were really to blame.
New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board Director Cedric Grant made the comment Sunday after more than nine inches of rain fell across the city over the course of just two hours, WGNO-TV reported.
“The frustration is that we are now in a different era. We are in an era of climate change, where we have these rains every week, every month. And it’s not just us. It’s the rest of the country that’s experiencing the same weather patterns,” Grant said.
But as WVUE-TV reported Thursday, the cause of the flooding was not “climate change.”
The local station reported that five of the city’s six turbines, which power the water pumps, are currently out of service. Four of the five turbines were out of service on Wednesday night, when a fire knocked out one turbine, leading to problems with other turbines.
“It is unacceptable that the public was not only uninformed, but misinformed as to our drainage system functionality during the flood,” New Orleans City Council member LaToya Cantrell said Wednesday, according to Fox News.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called the city’s water pump system “one of the best pumping systems in the world,” according to WGNO-TV.
“We are in a multibillion-dollar rebuilt of our entire sewerage and drainage system. The city was going to flood anyway. The water was still going to rise. There was still going to be damage,” said Landrieu, who ordered an investigation Monday into the city’s water pump system.
On Monday, Landrieu condemned Grant’s “climate change” comment.
“I think it was said in the heat of the moment. It was a little out of context and a little tone deaf,” the New Orleans mayor said, while seated next to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.
It’s unclear as to how long the investigation into the water pump system might take.
A city of New Orleans representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze on Thursday.
The timing, however, could not be worse since hurricane season is here. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico is officially June 1 through Nov. 30.
Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in New Orleans on Thursday as a precautionary measure, The Associated Press reported.
The governor’s declaration came just one day after federal forecasters predicted this year’s hurricane season will be “extremely active” and possibly “the most active since 2010,” USA Today reported.
“We’re now entering the peak of the season when the bulk of the storms usually form,” said Gerry Bell, NOAA Climate Prediction Center lead seasonal hurricane forecaster.
So far during this hurricane season, there have been six named storms. NOAA predicted there will be at least another eight named storms, at least five of which it expects to become hurricanes, before the end of the Atlantic hurricane season on Nov. 30.