What We Do

Hurricane Katrina Emergency Stormwater System Response and Debris Cleanup

New Orleans Stormwater System and Debris Cleanup

Location: Jefferson Parish/Orleans Parish, LA

Client: Hard Rock Construction for MWH Americas

EMR responded to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, where storm water systems and sewer catch basins were plugged by floodwater debris in Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish. Under austere conditions, EMR cleaned more than two million linear feet of 8-inch to 60-inch diameter pipe and 16,000 catch basins. All were cleaned and pumped and the debris was properly disposed.


Operations required for the comprehensive task included eight subcontractors and a combined EMR team staff of 160 people. The team operated 88 vacuum and vacuum-jetter combination trucks. Team members were mobilized from Michigan, Washington, Florida, and North Carolina to staff the emergency effort. The EMR team oversaw 16 different groups of trucks on a typical day. Debris that was collected by the trucks was hauled to state and city approved disposal sites. Collected stormwater was decanted back to the catch basins and solids were reloaded and hauled to an offsite location by another contractor. Local officials managed the sampling and recordkeeping for the final dispositions of solids.


Using GPS, EMR collected Universal Transverse Mercator coordinates for all catch basins, and at the end of the project, gave Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish a complete Geographic Information System database of catch basins and sewer manholes cleaned.

Return to Emergency Projects Catalog
Return to Projects Main