City Encourages Residents and Businesses to Prepare for Subtropical Storm Alberto
The City is encouraging all New Orleans residents and businesses to get prepared and stay informed during potential impacts from thunderstorms and Subtropical Storm Alberto over the Memorial Day Weekend. City officials are monitoring the weather that could impact the southeast U.S. and the Gulf Coast, including New Orleans. The City is committed to ensuring the safety of all residents. The public is encouraged to help spread the word and make the entire community better-prepared.
Subtropical Storm Alberto
Subtropical Storm Alberto has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to impact the Gulf Coast starting as early as Sunday, May 27, 2018. The National Weather Service (NWS) and National Hurricane Center continue to monitor the system’s path and development, which will determine the ultimate impacts to New Orleans. Currently, the main threat is the potential for heavy rain that could lead to localized flooding.
Additionally, local thunderstorms, not associated with Subtropical Storm Alberto, are possible today and tomorrow, with the potential for heavy rain. NWS has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the local area in effect until Saturday, May 26, 2018, at 7 p.m.
To help residents better prepare, the City of New Orleans has activated the emergency mode at nola.gov.
“Public safety is our top priority and we are monitoring Subtropical Storm Alberto closely,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “While it isn’t expected to impact us until closer to the end of the weekend, there is the potential for inclement weather beginning tonight. I strongly encourage everyone to be safe and stay informed.”
In anticipation of potential impacts from Alberto, the National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Orleans Parish. Additionally, areas of New Orleans outside the risk reduction levee system are under a Storm Surge Watch. Those areas, including Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine, and Irish Bayou may see coastal flooding of 2 to 4 feet, with water potentially over-topping roadways. Residents in these areas are urged to take extra precautions and to stay alert to weather conditions.
Residents are advised to use caution around areas prone to significant street flooding during severe weather such as streets under bridges and overpasses. Due to the potentially severe danger that could result from high water, residents should call 911 to report street flooding and life-threatening emergencies. Reports of street flooding can be viewed at streetwise.nola.gov.
To reduce the risk of damage from flooding, the City asks residents to clean and clear gutters and catch basins near their homes and businesses. Residents are encouraged to adopt a catch basin by visiting catchbasin.nola.gov.
Additionally, residents are advised to stay home during heavy rainfall unless an emergency makes it absolutely necessary to get on the road. The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) will ticket motorists who drive faster than 5 mph on streets with standing water.
Suspension of Parking Restrictions on Neutral Grounds
In preparation for inclement weather, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will suspend parking restrictions on neutral grounds beginning at 7 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) until further notice.
Sewerage & Water Board
In conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the City and Sewerage and Water Board (SWB) are monitoring water levels in canals and the Lake. The Drainage System has been restored close to its full potential. Three power-generating turbines have been repaired and returned to service. Four new, electro-motive diesel (EMD) generators are on standby to back them up. Also available is a fleet of frequency changers and backup generators, both temporary and permanent. The city has 115 out of 120 drainage pumps at the ready. New Orleans' drainage system now has more power available than it has had in more than a decade. Pump stations will also be manned during an event, and the SWB's Emergency Operation Center will be activated.
City Resources Update
NOPD, in partnership with the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD), will be rapidly deployed as needed to set up barricades in areas prone to flooding.
The Department of Public Works has and will continue to clean and unclog catch basins, as well as flush drain lines in flood-prone areas. To reduce risk of street flooding, do not park in front of or on a catch basin, and do not dispose of anything in a catch basin. Call 311 to report catch basins that are not fully functioning. Residents should avoid lifting a catch basin lid or inserting anything into a catch basin.
The public is encouraged to call 311 for general information and to report non-life threatening emergencies such as storm preparation information, sidewalk and road problems or debris. At this time, 311 will continue taking calls during regular hours Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, 311 will be closed on Monday, May 28, 2018 for Memorial Day and resume regular hours on Tuesday, May 29, 2018.
New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) Update
At this time, all facilities, parks and pools will operate as normal. Please monitor www.nordc.org for updates.
New Orleans City Council President and Councilmember At-Large Jason Williams said, “As the first potentially serious storm of the season approaches, please prepare your family and home for heavy rains and wind. We’ve been here before, let’s act like it. Reach out to any neighbors that may need assistance securing items on their property and please stay off the roads.”
District D Councilmember Jared C. Brossett said, "As always, I urge all residents to prepare for the potential severe weather that we regularly face in New Orleans. Stay prepared, remain informed, and heed all public safety warnings.”
- Make a plan to make sure every family member knows what to do, who to call, and where to go during an emergency.
- Gather supplies you’ll need in case tropical weather requires you to shelter in place without power, running water or access to groceries.
- Stay informed by signing up for emergency alerts, watching the news, and following @nolaready on social media. Keep mobile phone near at all times to monitor updates.
- Secure or bring inside all loose outdoor objects, including lawn furniture, signs, trash, and garbage and recycling bins.
- Keep catch basins and storm drains clear of debris and disposing of leaves and other yard waste properly.
- Avoid driving as much as possible. Avoid driving through floodwaters and be careful of low visibility.
- Practice alternate routes. In a disaster, roads may be blocked, buses and city transportation shut down or re-routed, or streets impassable. Each family member should know all possible exit routes from you home and your neighborhood.
The City offers multiple ways to stay up-to-date on information and get prepared. By visiting ready.nola.gov, residents can sign up for NOLA Ready alerts, which will notify residents of emergency situations including, but not limited to, evacuation information; chemical spills; shelter-in-place alerts; weather advisories; and, infrastructure issues, such as boil water advisories. Residents can tailor the alerts to specific locations, types of alerts and on which devices they will be notified.
Residents may also get accurate, up-to-the-minute information and safety tips during an emergency by following NOLA Ready on Twitter (@NOLAReady). For more information, such as how to prepare for emergency situations, visit ready.nola.gov.
Special Needs Registry
The City is also encouraging individuals who require special assistance during emergencies to enroll in its Special Needs Registry. The registry does not guarantee assistance, but allows first responders to appropriately plan for, prepare for and respond to community needs.
The Special Needs Registry includes all individuals, regardless of age, with a chronic condition, disability, special healthcare need, or who may require additional assistance during an emergency. These include those who:
- Use life support systems such as oxygen, respirator, ventilator, dialysis, pacemaker, or are insulin dependent;
- Have mobility disabilities and use a wheelchair, scooter, walker, cane, or other mobility device;
- Are visually impaired, blind, hard of hearing, or deaf;
- Have speech, cognitive, developmental or mental health disabilities; and,
- Use assistive animals or a prosthesis.
A family member, caregiver, or authorized representative can enroll an individual on their behalf. Residents may enroll in the Special Needs Registry by calling 3-1-1 or by visiting ready.nola.gov.
Special Medical Needs Concerns
Residents with special medical needs concerns can contact the City's Health Department at 504-658-2558 throughout the weekend.
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority Update
RTA will continue to provide transit services as weather and road conditions permit. Streetcars will be replaced with buses if winds exceed 35 mph, line blockages occur or water pools on streetcar tracks. Buses will remain in operation as long as weather and road conditions permit. If water levels reach the front step of vehicles (approximately 18 inches from the ground), bus operations will cease.
Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY) Update
MSY is monitoring Subtropical Storm Alberto. The Airport will remain open as long as conditions are safe. Travelers are advised to check with their airlines for the latest flight information before heading to the Airport.
Entergy is prepared and crews are on standby to safely restore power as needed. For helpful safety, preparation and restoration information, customers can visit entergystormcenter.com that also features a free, downloadable guide known as Operation: Storm Ready. If they haven't already done so, customers should sign up for text alerts by texting REG to 368374 or downloading the free Entergy app at entergyapp.com. Customers are urged to stay safely away from any downed power lines and report them by calling 1-800-9OUTAGE.