City of New Orleans Prepares for Severe Weather, Encourages Residents to Remain Weather Aware
The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is monitoring the threat of severe weather this evening and is encouraging residents to prepare and stay weather aware.
The National Weather Service has placed Orleans Parish is in an enhanced risk area for severe weather, meaning that there is a high confidence that several storms could contain damaging winds, severe hail, tornadoes, and heavy rain. The line of storms is expected to impact the New Orleans region this evening between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., although rain is possible earlier in the day. A Wind Advisory is in effect for the area through 10 p.m. and additional watches or warnings may be issued throughout the day. Residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts at ready.nola.gov/alerts or by texting their zip code to 888777.
Ahead of severe weather, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans currently has 96 of 99 drainage pumps available for service. All underpass pumps are available for use. Turbines 1 and 6 are available to power the system and are currently on line. Currently, one electromotive diesel generator (EMD) is out of service for repairs.
The Department of Public Works will suspend parking restrictions on neutral grounds until 9 a.m. on Thursday to allow residents in areas prone to flooding to move vehicles to higher ground. Please do not block intersections, streetcar tracks, sidewalks, or bike paths and take extra care when driving on and off neutral grounds to protect the city's tree canopy and parkways.
Entergy New Orleans is closely monitoring weather forecasts and preparing to respond to severe weather that may impact our area later this evening. Crews and contractors are on alert and are ready to respond if needed. If outages occur, residents are asked to turn off or unplug their air conditioners and large appliances so that when power is restored, those appliances may be turned back on gradually. Entergy New Orleans offers multiple ways for residents to stay informed:
Residents are also encouraged to prepare homes and neighborhoods for wind and rain by securing outdoor furniture and décor, removing debris from gutters and downspouts, and cleaning in front of catch basins to help rain get to the drain. Call 3-1-1 to report catch basins that are not fully functioning.
During storms residents are reminded to stay indoors and away from windows. In the event of a tornado warning, shelter in an interior room on the ground floor. During heavy rain, drivers should caution around areas prone to significant street flooding, like streets under bridges and overpasses. The New Orleans Police Department will ticket motorists who drive faster than 5 miles per hour on streets with standing water. Due to the potentially severe danger that could result from high water, residents should call 9-1-1 to report street flooding and life-threatening emergencies. Reports of street flooding are shown in real time at streetwise.nola.gov.
Stay up to date by signing up for NOLA Ready emergency alerts or by following us on Twitter @nolaready. More preparedness tips are available at ready.nola.gov/storms.