Waxhoma Lake is more famous for its confluence with the Mississippi River and Mandeville River, but it is also an area where refugees from Europe have crossed the St. Bernard River to escape the embargo, Ethiopia and Mauritania. The total impact of the second week of the flooding is yet unknown, but residents are still struggling to assess the damage.
According to the city, there are 87 incidents of flooding related to the first week of the flooding, costing the city an estimated $3.6 million, but the amount of damage will depend on the response of FEMA and private flood insurance companies.
While the private insurance market appears to have already covered the majority of the flooding, the city is still finding out the extent of its damage.
“The city is working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the federal government and they have already made arrangements for insurance and additional assistance,” said Mayor Brenton Taylor. “However, as we look further out into the problems associated with that flooding and the impacts that it’s going to have on our community, the housing markets, our businesses, our foundation. This is not a certainty.”
Vice Mayor Mike Portnoy added, “There’s a large amount of damaged homes and businesses, there are still two weeks before we fully assess how much damage has been done. So we have to determine that. The word is flooding is an estimate, but there’s other variables like water coming out of the creeks that also has flooding and there’s a lot of agencies that we may not have yet met.”
The city hopes to have assessments done by June 10.
However, the flood doesn’t have the same reach as Hurricane Harvey in 2016, where the city estimates the number of people affected at only 350 to 400.
According to public officials, the city has set up various disposal areas for the debris that was swept away by the floods. However, by sunset Sunday, City Hall was filled with standing water. The obvious solutions to the flooding, have been carbon monoxide detectors, the Road Department and the fire department.
The possibility of another hurricane could impact the damage.
“We’ve done hurricanes before,” Taylor said. “We’ve gone through some of the same things that we’ve gone through in this particular case. Obviously, there’s going to be significant damage to the infrastructure, the equipment of our fire department. We’ve watched this storm go through the city before.”
[Explore an interactive map of the flooding in New Orleans]