Mayor Landrieu, City Officials Provide Update on Hurricane Nate
Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu provided an update on Hurricane Nate.
According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Nate continues to intensify. It could still become a Category 2 hurricane at landfall. Tropical storm force winds are expected, especially in squalls through early Sunday morning with hurricane force winds likely throughout this evening and early Sunday morning.
Residents are encouraged to remain vigilant as slight adjustments to the projected track can cause a more serious impact to the area.
New Orleans could see wind gusts as strong as 80 mph which can cause significant power outages.
Additionally, New Orleans is currently under a Storm Surge Warning. Areas outside of levee protection such as Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine, and Irish Bayou could see a 7-11 foot storm surge. Given this threat, Mayor Landrieu ordered a mandatory evacuation for Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine and Irish Bayou. Nearby floodgates are now closed.
The National Weather Service has cautioned that the majority of the serious impact and storm surge will likely occur overnight. Considering overnight impact, Mayor Landrieu instituted a mandatory curfew that will begin today at 7 p.m. and end Sunday morning after the storm has passed. The public is asked to shelter in place throughout the duration of the tropical weather. Individuals traveling to and from work or essential safety personnel will be allowed to travel on the streets as long as it is safe to do so. The public is advised that beyond a certain point weather conditions will make it impossible for first responders to answer emergency calls.
Residents are allowed to park on the neutral ground and sidewalks, as long as vehicles do not block intersections, streetcar tracks or travel lanes, until further notice.
Residents should prepare to shelter in place throughout the duration of the storm with essential supplies including food, water, and medications.
As always during Hurricane Season, residents are reminded to make a plan and to have at least three days’ worth of supplies, including water, food, and medications on hand. To see tips on how to make a plan, visit https://ready.nola.gov/plan/hurricane/#prepare.
The City’s Emergency Operation Center is activated and all departments and agencies continue to execute their emergency plans.
On Thursday, October 5, Mayor Landrieu declared a state of emergency for New Orleans ahead of Nate, reminding residents to shelter in place on Saturday and Sunday.
City Working with Local, State and Federal Partners on Preparations
Throughout this event, the City is working with local, federal and state partners such as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), Louisiana National Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers to understand the risks, vulnerabilities, and how the City can keep residents safe, which is our top priority.
Additionally, Mayor Landrieu has led four tabletop briefings since October 5 with the National Weather Service and City officials on Hurricane Nate.
Closure of City Hall, City Facilities
Out of an abundance of caution and for the protection of life and property, City Hall and other City facilities closed through Sunday.
The City currently has nearly 40 boats and over 20 high-water vehicles along with other rescue supplies staged at various fire and police stations, as well as four high-water vehicles and two boats stationed at Emergency Medical Services (EMS) headquarters.
The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) will continue normal operations while also preparing to respond to Nate. All NOPD personnel are on callback status, all active personnel or personnel on leave will contact their commanders for reporting instructions every 24 hours. All non-emergency annual leave will be canceled.
Beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, NOPD will stage barricades at underpasses to prepare for any overnight flooding. Currently, NOPD has pre-staged 146 brand new barricades in flood-prone areas to prevent drivers from going into areas with high water. These barricades are designed for high visibility and auto traffic. Barricades and equipment are positioned and ready to be put in place at: Downman Road & Haynes Blvd., Gentilly Blvd. & Peoples Ave., Franklin Ave. & I-610 East and West, Gentilly Blvd. & Paris Ave. (Popeyes), Paris Ave. & Gentilly Blvd. (Parisite Skate Park), St. Bernard Ave & I-610 Exit, N. Broad St. & A.P. Turead Ave., Marconi Drive & Roosevelt Mall St., Canal Blvd. & Navarre Ave., Tulane Ave. & S. Carrollton Ave., Metairie Road & Pontchartrain Blvd., Gen. De Gaulle Drive & Hwy. 90, Gen. De Gaulle Drive & Woodland Drive, Press Drive & L. C. Simon Drive, and the I-10 Carrollton Off-Ramp.
Get Prepared and Stay Informed
The City urges all New Orleans residents and businesses to stay prepared and informed as hurricane season continues. The City is committed to ensuring the safety of all residents, and the public is encouraged to help spread the word and make the entire community better prepared.
Develop a plan in advance to ensure that every family member knows what to do, who to call and where to go during an emergency. For more preparedness tips, visit https://ready.nola.gov/plan/hurricane/.
Out of an abundance of caution, the City’s emergency and operational departments are conducting preparation measures. Any changes in storm track and intensity could change the impacts for our area, so residents are advised to stay tuned to NOLA Ready and the National Weather Service for updates.
New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) has distributed approximately 79,000 free sandbags. Sandbags are available at the following stations until 7 p.m. today, as weather permits.
- 987 Robert E. Lee Blvd.
- 2000 Martin Luther King Blvd.
- 4115 Woodland Ave.
- 2118 Elysian Fields Ave.
- 5403 Read Road
Update on Drainage System
The Sewerage and Water Board (S&WB) is working closely with New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the Mayor's Office to monitor Hurricane Nate. S&WB and its contractors continue to work around the clock to repair all power and pumps to stabilize and strengthen the City's drainage system. Yesterday, S&WB crews brought a 250 CFS pump back online at DPS 20 and it’s now available for service bringing this drainage pumping station to 100% capacity. Since August, S&WB has repaired seven drainage pumps and two turbines. At this time, 108 of 120 drainage pumps are fully operational. Turbines 1, 3 and 6 are available for service with additional power being provided by 26 backup generators which were mobilized under emergency declaration. In addition to generators, S&WB has brought in three additional rented pumps, one at DPS 5 and two at DPS 7. Additionally, S&WB is in the process of installing five Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) Generators at the Carrollton Water Plant and are scheduled to be available for service in the coming weeks.
S&WB has 182 personnel prepared, including 140 pump operators and 42 support personnel, to staff pump stations.
Updates on pump availability can be found at www.swbno.org.
Entergy New Orleans
Entergy’s Louisiana utilities are prepared for the likelihood of heavy rain and tropical storm-force winds as Hurricane Nate accelerates on a projected path toward southeast Louisiana, which could lead to power outages in southern Louisiana. Entergy has 1,800 personnel, including Entergy's line crews and contractors, on alert and ready to safely restore service to customers as quickly as possible.
Depending on the severity of the storm and damage to the electrical system, it may take up to seven days following landfall before power is restored to 90 percent of customers. Once the storm passes, Entergy will be able to fully assess the damage and will have more information to share.
Customers should visit the Entergy Storm Center website for planning tools that can help guide you through the decisions you need to make. Operation: Storm Ready is a free downloadable guide that helps customers plan and prepare for weather emergencies.
Catch Basin Cleanings
Prior to the inclement, the Department of Public Works (DPW) increased its manpower to clean and unclog catch basins and flush drain lines 7 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days a week. Fourteen vacuum trucks were in service, including DPW and its contractors. Since the beginning of 2017, a total of 7,326 catch basins have been cleaned in New Orleans, including 4,386 since August.
DPW and its contractors have suspended operations and will resume when weather permits.
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.
Hotels and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is restricting its parking garages to ticketed passengers only. Anyone traveling out or coming to pick someone up should bring a copy of the flight reservation to gain access to the garages. If you are traveling in the coming days, please check your airline’s website for any possible delays or cancellations prior to coming to the Airport.
The airport is working with taxis and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) to ensure arriving passengers have transportation to their destinations. The Airport Shuttle will remain in operation until the last flight arrives to MSY.
New Orleans hotels remain open. City officials are in contact with hotels and conventions in town through the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOCVB) in order to ensure safety of New Orleans visitors as well as New Orleans residents.
Taxis and Transportation Network Companies
Uber and Lyft will suspend operations from 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 7 through 7 a.m. on Sunday, October 8.
Additionally, Lyft is now operating their “Relief Rides” program which assists those in need of transportation during the weather event.
Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East Floodgate Closures
All structures in the Flood Protection System, managed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (Flood Protection Authority), are ready and fully operational. Of the 252 floodgates within the system, 178 of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) closed Saturday afternoon. Of the 74 river gates, 36 are always closed and the Authority does not anticipate closing the remaining 38 at this time.
The Flood Protection Authority activated its Emergency Operations Center yesterday and will remain open 24/7 throughout the duration of the storm. The Flood Authority currently has the drainage pump operators stationed in the Lake Borgne Basin Levee District staffed 24/7.
Yesterday, the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) Lake Borgne Sector Gate, the Seabrook Complex gate, Lakeshore Drive and West End floodgates closed. This morning, the following floodgates closed: Bonnabel Blvd. at Lake Pontchartrain, Williams Blvd. at Lake Pontchartrain, Lakefront Airport, Highway 90, and Highway 11.
For current closures, visit http://floodauthority.org/closures/
NORD Recreation Centers and Facilities
All New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission recreation centers and facilities will be closed until further notice.
Closures of Parks
The following parks are closed through Sunday: Jackson Square, Louis Armstrong Park, Washington Square, Mississippi River Heritage Park, Joseph Bartholomew Golf Course, and Brechtel Park. All parks will re-open Monday at their regularly scheduled time unless further impacted by weather-related issues.
New Orleans Public Libraries
All New Orleans Public Libraries remain closed and are scheduled to re-open Monday at 10 a.m.
Residents are reminded that it is their responsibility to secure all garbage and recycling carts, on their property, after collections. There may be a cost associated with obtaining a replacement garbage cart and there will be a cost to obtain a replacement recycling cart.
Sanitation collection will resume when weather permits.
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is making pre-storm preparations under their hurricane preparedness plan. All bus operations, including Paratransit services, will be suspended at 7 p.m. Sat. Oct. 7 until further notice. Public notice will be sent out detailing service interruptions as weather conditions change.
As of 5:15 a.m. on Sat. Oct. 7, all streetcars were replaced with buses. Additionally, there is currently no Streetcar or bus service running for the Riverfront Streetcar line so RTA can begin banking its fleet of “Red Lady” streetcars along the line.
As mandated by the U.S. Coast Guard, ferry services are suspended until further notice. Ferry crews are on standby to service and secure all equipment, vessels and landings should the weather conditions require Ferry revenue services be suspended.
The Cemeteries Transit Center project team will secure all equipment and construction materials and ensure all approved traffic controls are in place.
Visit www.norta.com for more information and follow @NewOrleansRTA on Twitter and Facebook for the most up-to-date information on any RTA storm-related detours, or call the Customer Care Rideline at (504) 248-3900.
Previously Scheduled Events over Next Few Days
Mayor Landrieu and the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Engagement’s District C Catch Basin Cleaning Day scheduled for today was postponed until further notice. The Catch Basin Cleaning Days will resume on Saturday, Oct. 14 in District B. For more information on the Catch Basin Cleaning Days, visit https://www.nola.gov/mayor/press-releases/2017/20170925-pr-city-partners-with-neighborhood-and-co/
The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) announced that the full-scale active shooter exercise scheduled for Monday, Oct. 9 has been postponed. The City will notify residents of the rescheduled date of the exercise in the coming days.
Residents are encouraged to call 311 for general information and to report non-life threatening emergencies. 311 will be open 24/7 until further notice.
Sign up for 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 311.
Residents are encouraged to text “NATE” to 888-777 to receive updates from the City of New Orleans on Hurricane Nate.
Additionally, residents are advised to look for updates regularly posted on ready.nola.gov, on Twitter @NOLAReady, and on Facebook @NOLAReady.
Sign up for NOLA Ready alerts, which will notify residents of emergency situations, at www.nola.gov/ready/alert/.