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Covers missing from nearly 150 New Orleans storm drains

October 3, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Big metal covers are missing from nearly 150 storm drains around New Orleans, and the mayor’s office says they’re trying out covers that lock.

A spokeswoman for New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell tells WWL-TV it costs $250 to $500 to replace storm drain covers, and more than 140 are missing.

A 9th Ward nonprofit official tells NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune that people may be stealing covers left off by city crews. Thom Pepper of Common Ground Relief says storm drains were left open after post-flood vacuuming in August 2017 and during street repairs the following month. He says each time, the covers were gone within 48 hours.

Mayoral spokeswoman LaTonya Norton says if locking covers are effective, the city will replace all missing covers in the 9th Ward with them.

The city has about 65,000 storm drains — or, as they’re called in New Orleans, “catch basins” — as entry points for a drainage system that is entirely separate from its sewer and water lines.

Update hourly