A construction worker was recorded Saturday in his company’s pickup driving quickly through a flooded New Orleans street sending waves of water onto nearby vehicles and homes.
That video, recorded by New Orleans resident George Pool and posted on his Facebook page, soon went viral and got plenty of coverage by local CBS-TV affiliate WWLTV. The next day, the owner of Gulf Coast Green Construction, Jeff Wellman, apologized for his employee’s actions and announced that the worker had been fired.
“As of this morning the Gulf Coast employee driving through flood waters in the video has been terminated,” Wellman posted on his company’s Facebook page. “We at Gulf Coast Green Construction would like to apologize to the residents of Mid City. Gulf Coast is aware of the video of a company truck carelessly driving down a flooded street on Saturday that has been circulating. As New Orleans natives, we have all experienced flooding and understand the neighborhoods reaction. Please understand that Gulf Coast does not condone this behavior. We are dedicated to the building and betterment of our city. We would like to apologize for the carelessness of this employee during such a sensitive time.”
New Orleans was hit by up to eight inches of rain over the weekend. Flooding was widespread and included Wellman’s neighborhood.
At least two people defended the fired employee on Facebook.
“He was racing through so his truck wouldn’t stall and he wouldn’t get robbed!” Amanda Dufrene posted on WWLTV’s Facebook page.
Most, however, were upset at the driver for barreling through the flooded street.
“As someone who suffered through flooding I can tell you that speeders just create wake and more damage,” Sulette Irizarry posted below Dufrene’s comment. “No one should drive through high water not knowing what they are driving over.”