Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Report: New Orleans, NFL under heavy scrutiny after shutting down several pumping stations to restore power to Superdome

New Orleans--Shortly after the second half of the Super Bowl began on Sunday night nearly all of the overhead lights on the 42-year-old Superdome went dark. The Blackout Bowl, as it has become known, was delayed thirty-four minutes while event organizers scrambled to restore power (and pride) to the Big Easy's stage in the national spotlight (Stadium workers began calling the power outage The Big Difficult). "I was initially told that it would be about a two-hour delay," said Frank Nedino, the stadium's head of maintenance. "Obviously, that was unacceptable. I did not want to be the one to call Roger [Goodell] and tell him that number. Noway, no how! I asked if there were any other options. Then, I had my assistant call Roger." There was one very drastic option: shut down several of the city's electricity-devouring pumping stations and reroute that power to the Superdome. Being that portions of Nawlins' is below sea level and depends on these stations--even when it is not raining--to keep dry, the outcome of a shutdown could have been catastrophic. The decision to shut down the pumps came jointly from the City and the NFL. "Oh, I don't see what the big deal is, people. So we diverted some power from a few of the city's pumps to bring back power to the stadium," said Stacy Biggs, NFL Super Bowl Gameday Coordinator. "It's not like there was a storm outside." Two parking lots close to Lake Pontchartrain at the northern edge of the city experienced minor flooding that had evaporated by late Monday morning. FEMA is investigating.

No comments: