Mardi Gras is only a few weeks away.  And to get ready, New Orleans finally just cleaned up from apparently decades of "Carnival" parties.

They hired crews to clear out the storm drains from a five-block area in the French Quarter, right in the epicenter of Mardi Gras (St. Charles between Poydras Street and Lee Circle).  And they wound up sucking out 93,000 POUNDS of beads from those sewers.  That's over 46 TONS of beads.

TracyHornbrook, ThinkStock

Dani Galloway, interim director of the city's Department of Public Works, said  at a news conference:

"Once you hear a number like that, there's no going we've got to do better." - Dani Galloway

It's pretty clear they didn't realize that many beads were down there clogging things up.  So now they're brainstorming ways to keep their drains clear.

So far they've cleaned 15,000 of the 68,000 catch basins in New Orleans and have collected a total of 7.2 million pounds of debris!