New Orleans Man Documents Journey Cleaning City’s Catch Basins

Michael Gibbs takes it upon himself to clear storm drains and help prevent street flooding

New Orleans Man Documents Journey Cleaning City’s Catch Basins

(Image from Michael Gibbs' Instagram account)

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From the depths of the mighty Mississippi comes Sewage and Water Boy!

That’s how the Instagram bio reads for New Orleans’ Michael Gibbs. With little more than a shovel, he’s been working on clearing the city’s storm drains (about 425 to date) to help prevent flooding issues. Since June 2022, he’s documented much of his efforts on Instagram with before and after photos, and has gradually attracted more attention — nearly 1,000 followers on his Instagram now.

“There’s something about taking a neglected place, and just giving it love and attention. And you’d be amazed at what I’ve seen in New Orleans when I open up a drain,” Gibbs said for a recent feature on “It makes a difference, whole streets will cease flooding.”


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