Mayor Landrieu, Governor John Bel Edwards, Parish President Mike Yenni, and Other Regional, Parish Officials Provide Updates on Winter Weather Impact on Region
Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu hosted Governor John Bel Edwards, Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni, as well as other regional parish officials to provide an update on the winter weather event impacting the region.
Mayor Landrieu urges residents and visitors to stay safe and warm during winter weather. The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans has issued a precautionary boil water advisory for the entire East Bank of New Orleans, including New Orleans East.
Temperatures are now above freezing and will continue to warm into the low to mid-forties today. Elevated roadways that remain icy are expected to thaw and reopen today. Residents are urged to remain cautious as ice thaws on roadways and to obey traffic closures and barriers that remain in place. A Freeze Warning will be in effect for New Orleans overnight, with temperatures dropping into the mid-thirties and possible wind chills in the low thirties. As such, the Citywide Freeze Plan to provide shelter to the homeless will be in effect through the night.
Public safety is our top priority. As such, City Hall and all administrative operations will remain closed Friday. Residents are asked to continue to take extreme caution until road conditions improve.
Through the overnight hours, public safety personnel and volunteers will continue to ensure homeless residents are able to get to shelters.
Since Tuesday, Mayor Landrieu and City officials have held 3 press conferences to advise on precautions in advance of the wintry weather and provide updates in response to the weather.
Since Tuesday, City officials have called into multiple media outlets to provide updates to the public.
All residents and visitors should take appropriate precautions to protect themselves from the potentially dangerous effects of cold weather and icy conditions.
Icy conditions continue to exist on elevated roadways and some New Orleans surface streets, causing dangerous driving conditions. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has opened I-610 in both directions and the I-10 Highrise Bridge in Orleans Parish.
Residents are asked to take extreme caution until conditions improve. If it is absolutely necessary to be on the road, take extra care driving. The public is asked to report icy road conditions to 911.
During cold weather overnight, residents are urged to bring pets inside and to check on neighbors and the elderly. To report someone in need of shelter, call the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) non-emergency number at (504) 821-2222.
Residents are reminded to heat homes safely. Space heaters should never be left unattended and a stove or an oven should never be used to heat the home. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to be sure they are working.
PUBLIC SAFETY OPERATIONS
The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has activated the Emergency Operations Center and continues to monitor conditions and coordinate response throughout the winter weather event.
Public safety agencies, including the NOPD, New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (NOEMS), and the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) have responded since Tuesday to over 1,107 calls for service, including close to 100 traffic accidents. Last night, there were 500 calls for service overnight. 62 calls were auto incidents handled by the NOPD. There were no reported traffic fatalities overnight. No major offenses were reported overnight.
CITYWIDE FREEZE PLAN ACTIVATION
The Citywide Freeze Plan (CFP) remains in effect through Friday, Jan. 19, as the National Weather Service forecasts the temperature or wind chill to fall below the plan’s activation threshold of 35 degrees. The City's freeze plan will be in effect to provide temporary overnight shelter for homeless residents. The public is asked to call the NOPD non-emergency number (504) 821-2222, to report someone in need of shelter.
Individuals needing shelter will be accepted, free of charge, at the following locations under the following conditions:
- The Salvation Army, 4530 South Claiborne Ave. – will accept men and women beginning at 4 p.m.
- Ozanam Inn, 843 Camp St. – will accept men only beginning at 4 p.m.
- Covenant House, 611 North Rampart St. – will accept men and women between the ages of 16 to 21, their dependent children, and any woman with dependent minor children. Open 24/7.
- New Orleans Mission, 1130 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. – will accept men and women beginning at 4 p.m.
Over the past two days, the New Orleans Health Department has housed over 168 homeless residents.
ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES
Temperatures are now above freezing and will continue to warm into the low to mid-forties today. Elevated roadways that remain icy are expected to thaw and reopen later today. Residents are urged to remain cautious as ice thaws on roadways and to obey traffic closures and barriers that remain in place.
Crews with the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) and the DOTD continue to assess and address road conditions throughout the city.
DOTD reports that the eastbound lanes of I-10 from Morrison Road to Slidell in Orleans Parish are now open effective immediately. Both directions of I-10 from US 11 to I-510 in Orleans Parish are now open. The eastbound lanes of the Twin Span Bridge are open.
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions and closures using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). This information is also available online on the 511 Traveler Information Web site at www.511la.org.
In order to ensure the safety of students, all schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Recovery School District, and the Orleans Public School Board will remain closed Friday.
CITY FACILITIES CLOSED
The following City facilities are closed for business Friday:
- City Hall (1300 Perdido St.)
- All New Orleans Recreation Department Commission (NORD) facilities
- All New Orleans Public Library branches
- Municipal and Traffic Court
- Criminal Court
- Civil District Court
SEWERAGE AND WATER BOARD
Water pressure across the East Bank remained very low overnight, due to a combination of leaks, water line breaks and consistent water use. The S&WB called for a precautionary boil water advisory for the entire East Bank of New Orleans this morning, which includes Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine, and Irish Bayou and remains in effect until further notice.
Crews are working around the clock to rectify the situation and will notify residents when the system is operating normally. Residents are encouraged to only use water when necessary and to no longer run faucets constantly, as temperatures have increased and pipes are no longer in danger of freezing.
Residential and commercial property owners are encouraged to check your water pipes. If a break is observed, turn off your water and begin to repair leaks. This will relieve substantial pressure on our water system.
All bus and street car services are fully operational and on their regular schedule. A shuttle bus is continuing to service the St. Charles Streetcar route from Howard to Canal.
For the latest RTA service information call the RTA Customer Care Rideline at (504) 248-3900. For Rider Alerts and more information regarding RTA detours, visit www.norta.com and register a MyRTA email account to receive service alerts. We will continue to provide updates via Twitter @NewOrleansRTA and Facebook @NewOrleansRTA, as well as our website: www.norta.com.
The Lower Algiers/Chalmette Ferry is back in service, and the Canal Street/Algiers Point Ferry is being serviced by terminal-to-terminal shuttle bus until ferry service is restored.
For the latest information follow RTA on Twitter at @NewOrleansRTA. Riders are also encouraged to visit the RTA website at www.norta.com for service alerts.
All Metro Services and Richard's Disposal garbage and recycling collections will resume on Friday as scheduled. Both companies will collect properties scheduled for Thursday, on Friday and Saturday of this week. Recycling collections, which were cancelled on Wednesday and Thursday, will take place next week, on the scheduled days.
On Friday, Empire Services will resume its normal operating schedule.
River Birch Landfill and Gentilly Landfill are open today. Both will resume normal operating hours on Friday.
NEW ORLEANS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Late Wednesday evening, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport began experiencing low water pressure as a result of freezing weather conditions, and this morning, Jefferson Parish issued a precautionary Boil Water Advisory for the area.
The Airport is still experiencing low water pressure and is taking necessary safety measures for our passengers. At this time, there are limited restrooms open in the pre-security lobby and all restrooms post-security are closed. Portable toilets were placed at the entrance of the Airport for passengers to use. Food and beverage options are also limited in the terminal, and the heating system may be affected due to the decreased water pressure.
The runways at the Airport remain open and commercial flight operations are continuing. Travelers should plan ahead and check with their airline for the most up-to-date flight information. Passengers are encouraged to check their route to the airport before getting on the roadways since many roads are still closed due to icy conditions.
Airport staff is continuing to monitor the situation in the terminal and will take necessary actions to mitigate passenger inconvenience.
NOLA 311 will be closed Friday and will reopen at 8 a.m. on Monday. To report downed power lines and any other emergencies, call 911.
Updates on winter weather and local impacts will be available at ready.nola.gov. Residents are encouraged follow @NOLAReady on Twitter and to sign up for email and text message alerts at http://ready.nola.gov/stay-connected/emergency-alerts/ . For more information on winter weather preparedness, visit http://ready.nola.gov/plan/winter/ .
IMPORTANT NUMBERS TO KNOW
- For life threatening emergencies and downed power lines, call 911
- For real-time traffic and road condition, call 511
- Report downed traffic signals, call 504-821-2222
- Sewerage and Water Boards 24/7 line, call 504-529-2837
- To report power outages, call 1-800-968-8243 (1-800-9OUTAGE)
- To report water emergencies, call 504-529-2837 (504-52WATER)