Down the Drain is a WWL-TV investigative project that explores what went wrong and where the blame lies for New Orleans' drainage crisis. Down the Drain was reported and produced by WWL-TV's investigative team: Katie Moore, David Hammer, Mike Perlstein, TJ Pipitone and Danny Monteverde with online content by Sam Winstrom and Kevin Dupuy.

Down the Drain

The flash of lightning and the rumble of thunder was enough to take notice, but not to cause concern.

At least when it began.

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Timeline of Events

Timeline of Events

Heavy rains filled parts of New Orleans on August 5. Mistakes were made that day but problems had existed for a long time.

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Caught in the Storm

Caught in the Storm

For the second time in two weeks, parts of the city flooded. This time, residents had enough.

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The Untapped Cash

The Untapped Cash

As the drainage system sat in disrepair, tens of millions in federal funds were unused in city accounts.

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Are Your Pumps Working?

Are Your Pumps Working?

What is the status of the pumps near your home? Explore our interactive map.

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Listen to the 911 Calls

Listen to the 911 Calls

Frantic calls from across the city flood the 911 center as water continued to rise.

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Videos From the Flood

Videos From the Flood

WWL-TV crews and Eyewitness News viewers captured scenes of flooded streets and homes.

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From Ideal to Inept in 100 years

From Ideal to Inept in 100 years

Once state-of-the art, New Orleans’ aging drainage system is now crumbling with very few upgrades in decades.

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Repaired doesn’t mean fixed

Repaired doesn’t mean fixed

Even when the pumps work properly, the water still has to get there. Often, that is a problem.

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The Power Problem

The Power Problem

"You have the oldest power generation plant in America ... There is no one that's older. It's tired, it's old."

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An Inch the First Hour?

An Inch the First Hour?

It has become an old adage, ‘The pumps can handle an inch of rain the first hour, half an inch every hour after that.

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Cedric Grant: Divided Focus

Cedric Grant: Divided Focus

A deep dive into Cedric Grant's calendar reveals a man torn between two jobs.

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Workforce Poorly Equipped

Workforce Poorly Equipped

"This system has been in perpetual emergency for quite some time now. It operates on an emergency basis almost daily,"

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Millions more than 'reasonable'

Millions more than 'reasonable'

Records show $20 million in fees are going to an out-of-state consultant to manage a power plant construction project that's been -- by most regards -- a failure.

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Cleaning the Mess

Cleaning the Mess

At the time of the August 5 flood, just two of the city’s vacuum trucks were operational.

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What’s Next?

What’s Next?

What can New Orleans do to fix these problems for a better drainage and pumping system.

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Join the ‘Down the Drain’ Facebook Group

Problems with flooding? An unusually high water bill? The official "Down the Drain" Facebook group is the place to go.

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Your Reactions to Down the Drain

Social media reactions to WWL-TV's 'Down the Drain' investigative project and the pump crisis in New Orleans.

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