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Bayou Vista pumps delayed by heavy rainfall, not errors

Flooded street Bayou Vista
Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 19:55:57-04

Roads in Bayou Vista that flooded during Tuesday's storm are back open. A business owner on Southeast Blvd. told KATC that water was only feet away from his building.

"Which is about ten foot from my building, the street level is usually about two feet of water," Gilbert Blanchard, owner of Blanchard Insurance, said.

Blanchard said the water was so high that some employees had to leave their car overnight.

"They were here until about 4:30. They had to get picked up by their husbands in the pick up truck to get them out. Later in the evening, they had to come back get their vehicles and go home," Blanchard explained.

Some questioned why the city's pumps didn't stop the flooding. Chairman of the Gravity Sub-Drainage Drainage District, Wayne Cantrell, tells KATC that pumps were turned on and operating correctly.

"The pumps are working as hard as they can work," Cantrell said.

The chairman says the pumps were not made to handle that much rainfall at once, adding that debris blockage was not a factor.

"It rains so much so fast, it overloaded the streets. So the drains can't carry it to the pumps fast enough; eventually it gets to the pumps and it pulls it out as quick as they can pump," Cantrell explained. "We can run them all hard sometimes. Sometimes we have to slow some down, some of them we have overheating problems when we have this much rain."

According to officials, the water did not get into homes.

"It's just amazing that the water can come up that fast, and unless the pumps take over, you are subject to getting water in your home," Blanchard said.

Cantrell says they are currently in the litigation process to get the pumps fixed, but would not comment on what changes will be made.