By Michael Isaac Stein, Contributing writer
thelensnola.org | The Lens
Frustration over flooding from thunderstorms and anxiety from hurricane warnings are playing a major role in the debate over building a new power plant in eastern New Orleans.
This trepidation has spurred many to come out in support of Entergy New Orleans’ proposed plant, saying it will strengthen the city’s power supply after a natural disaster. Others support it because they believe it will cut down on the city’s frequent power outages — a key reason cited by the company to build the plant.
“We’ve had way too much flooding from electrical power not being able to convert for the pumps,” said Benjamin Wood at a public hearing this week. He was referring to the Sewerage and Water Board’s problems powering enough pumps to properly drain the city during severe thunderstorms this summer.
“I’m tired of feeling like I’m living in a Third World country,” he said. “This is the United States of America.”
The problem with Entergy’s proposal, according to opponents, is that the new plant won’t help the city rebound after a disaster or reduce frequent power outages. They say the city needs to shore up its electricity transmission and distribution system rather than increase supply.
And although power shortages contributed to the pumping problems, most of the Sewerage and Water Board’s pumps are not powered by Entergy.
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