New Orleans Pulls 93,000 Pounds Of Mardi Gras Beads From Storm Drains

New Orleans Celebrates Mardi Gras with beads

Getty Image / Chris Graythen / Staff

The city of New Orleans cleaned their storm drains and they literally found tons of Mardi Gras beads — 46.5 tons to be exact. The storm drains were encumbered and the city attempted to unclog them and they discovered 93,000 pounds of Mardi Gras beads. That’s a whole lotta flashing.

New Orleans spent $7 million to clear blocked catch basins. Blockage in the city’s 68,000 catch basins were major contributors to widespread flooding in August, NOLA reported. Since September, New Orleans has unclogged 15,000 catch basins and removed 7.2 million pounds of debris that included leaves, mud, sludge, and those plastic bead necklaces that are thrown when someone flaunts their body during Mardi Gras. Maybe make the beads biodegradable? The cleanup took nearly two dozen vacuum trucks.

“Once you hear a number like that, there’s no going back,” said Dani Galloway, interim director of the city’s Department of Public Works, at a news conference last Thursday afternoon. “So we’ve got to do better.” In only a five-block stretch of St. Charles Avenue, which is the yearly parade route in downtown, cleanup crews unearthed 93,000 pounds of beads. Extracting and then weighing urine-soaked Mardi Gras beads that were marinating in sewer sludge for months sounds like the worst job ever. Mardi Gras kicks off on Feb. 13 this year. Pennywise would not enjoy living in New Orleans.