Mayor Cantrell Updates Residents On Tropical Storm Barry
Mayor LaToya Cantrell today updated residents on response efforts as Tropical Storm Barry made landfall on Saturday morning. The storm briefly reached hurricane status before reverting to a tropical storm after landfall.
The slow pace pushed the timing of expected impacts further into today, tonight and Sunday. This means that New Orleans residents are not out of the woods with this system. Impacts are expected. While the storm surge risk on the Mississippi River has passed, the primary risk of heavy rain remains in New Orleans. Tropical rain bands with heavy rain that could lead to flooding are likely today through Sunday.
The National Weather Service continues to predict rainfall totals in the ten-to-20 inch range in New Orleans, with locally higher amounts possible. The New Orleans area remains under a Moderate to High risk for flash flooding and a Flash Flood Watch is in effect through 7 p.m. Sunday. Additionally, gusty winds are impacting the area and will continue as tropical bands move through.
City Hall, the New Orleans Libraries, New Orleans Recreation Development facilities, and all administrative City agencies are closed Saturday.
Watch today's news conference
SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA FLOOD PROTECTION AUTHORITY (SLFPA) EAST: SLFPA has received several reports from its field crews that vehicles are parked in front of floodgates. As SLFPA continues to monitor Hurricane Barry, the agency will eventually start reopening several gates. SLFPA is asking anyone who has a parked vehicle in front of or near a floodgate to remove them immediately, as this impedes on public safety and our ability to effectively manage the floodgates. SLFPA will post more information on its website, https://www.floodauthority.org/, under the “Storm Updates” tab on the homepage.
SLFPA has closed the Highway 90 floodgate. Due to the closure and anticipated high water on the roadways, public safety personnel will be unable to respond to calls for service. For this reason, the City of New Orleans on Friday called for a voluntary evacuation for these areas outside of levee protection.
SLFPA East and West have closed all flood gates in the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System.
Public Safety Preparations Continue
NEW ORLEANS OFFICE OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS (NOHSEP): Continues to monitor and prepare for potential impacts from this system. Friday, President Trump approved the State's request for a federal emergency declaration ahead of Tropical Storm Barry. That includes Orleans Parish due to our earlier local declaration.
The City’s Emergency Operations Center will remain activated through the duration of this event. Representatives from public safety, infrastructure, and human services agencies will be in the Emergency Operations Center 24/7 to monitor and respond to storm-related incidents. Additionally, the Real-Time Crime Center will continue its normal 24/7 operations and will assist in monitoring real-time weather impacts across the city.
NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Pre-staged barricades have been placed in flood-prone areas to prevent drivers from entering high water. The I-610 East exit to Franklin Avenue remains closed due to flooding in the area. As the weather event approaches, additional exits along the interstates may be closed if flooding makes streets impassable. Residents are reminded to never drive through flooded areas and to call 9-1-1 to report major flooding on the road. Motorists who drive faster than 5 mph on streets with standing water are subject to fines. A map of reported street flooding is available at streetwise.nola.gov. Additionally, NOPD will deploy high-water vehicles and boats to districts, as needed.
NEW ORLEANS FIRE DEPARTMENT (NOFD): Between 7:01 a.m. (7/12/2019) and 7 a.m. (7/13/2019) NOFD responded to 162 requests for assistance; none were working fires. There was a mandatory recall at 7 p.m. Friday, July 12, of all Operations personnel scheduled to report to duty at 7 a.m. this morning. NOFD urges residents to remain off the roadways for at least the next 24 hours. NOFD will maintain a heightened level of staffing with high-water vehicles and rescue boats on standby until all threats related to TS Barry have passed. For more information on fire safety during and after a storm, visit https://nola.gov/nofd/safety/hurricane/.
ORLEANS PARISH COMMUNICATIONS DISTRICT (OPCD) is activated to Level 2 staffing, increasing staffing by 50 percent and ensuring OPCD meets and maintains staffing needs during this state of emergency. Liaisons from NOFD and NOEMS are in place. NOPD NCIC Section has successfully relocated to the OPCD campus. All systems at the agency are working and uncompromised. Redundancies have been tested and are in place to ensure there are no interruptions of service. OPCD is in contact with the FCC and wireless providers to develop recovery strategies should there be a 9-1-1 outage. 9-1-1 services and 3-1-1 services will continue to be available 24/7 both by phone and online.
NEW ORLEANS HEALTH DEPARTMENT: Remains committed to protecting the health and safety of our residents with medical and mobility needs. Please do a last-minute check for yourself, family, friends and neighbors to make sure that you have all of your medications, have charged your electric scooter, have sufficient oxygen, and attended any last minute dialysis appointments. If you have not done so, you can still go online at http://specialneeds.nola.gov or call 311 to enroll in the Special Needs Registry. Our call center is open 24/7 and will remain open during the duration of the event. Family members out of town can also call or go online to register loved ones. We are prepared to assist people who are unable to stay in their homes due to power outages. In addition, we have spoken with all of the local hospitals and healthcare facilities to ensure that they are prepared. At this time, all facilities are operating under normal operations.
NEW ORLEANS EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (EMS): Additional ambulances and resources were deployed and are ready to respond. EMS has additional personnel and high water assets available and ready to respond to calls for service. EMS reminds the residents of New Orleans to call 9-1-1 only in the event of a life-threatening emergency. If they have any special medical needs or require assistance throughout this event, please contact 3-1-1.
Infrastructure Preparations Continue
SEWERAGE AND WATER BOARD OF NEW ORLEANS (SWBNO): All staffed pump stations will have operators on duty throughout the event. SWBNO crews will constantly monitor all underpass pump stations. All turbines are available for use. Out of an abundance of caution, to prevent potential interruptions to our water purification operation due to power outages, SWBNO has transferred from Entergy power to self-generated turbine power. SWBNO will remain in this status for the duration of the weather event.
Yesterday (Friday), SWBNO took the proactive step to shut down an electrical feeder that could be damaged by the impact of storm surge on an already high river. This will protect essential infrastructure, but it does limit the power supply to one drainage pump station. One of the smaller pumps at that station, DPS 11 in Lower Coast Algiers, will not be available during this storm. SWBNO will be able to power the remaining three drainage pumps. This decision brings the total number of available pumps to 117.
This station will operate at 85 percent capacity, but SWBNO does not anticipate a significant impact to our drainage capabilities in that area. That drainage basin has a significant amount of green space that can detain rain water.
The SWBNO Emergency Operations Center is fully staffed and all essential personnel are present and ready to make decisions at a moment’s notice. The impacts of Tropical Storm Barry are expected to outpace the system. Depending on where the heavy rainfall takes place, residents should expect flooding. SWBNO continues to maintain and operate the water and sewer systems under normal conditions.
ENTERGY LOUISIANA: Prepared to respond to additional power outages caused in the New Orleans area due to the storm. More information is available at entergystormcenter.com. Residents can download the app at entergyapp.com and sign up for text alerts by texting REG to 368374.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS (DPW): Continues to clean and unclog catch basins, as well as flush drain lines in flood-prone areas. Friday, 12 vac crews including seven from Compliance EnviroSystems LLC and three from Blue Flash Express LLC closed approximately 30 311-generated tickets. The crews flushed 8,339.3 linear feet of drain lines and laterals and approximately 124,860 pounds of debris was removed and taken to River Burch.
Today (Saturday), two vac truck crews will be operating around the city. All active construction sites have now been secured.
Parking restrictions on neutral grounds and sidewalks remain suspended until further notice. Residents are reminded not to block intersections or streetcar tracks. DPW will continue to remove stranded vehicles that are making roadways impassable. Residents whose vehicles have been moved should call 3-1-1 for information on retrieval. Residents with stranded vehicles that are impeding the roadway are expected to move their vehicles to the side of the road, preferably a parking lane, immediately.
DEPARTMENT OF SAFETY & PERMITS (DSP): Advises all construction projects to take the following protective actions in advance of any potential tropical weather activity:
- Remove construction materials from the perimeter of the building and tie them down. This includes smaller items such as tools to larger items such as dumpsters, portable bathrooms and event equipment
- Secure steel frames, metal decks, planks and plywood to supportive structures
- Provide shoring and bracing for areas under construction or demolition
- Cover electrical equipment from exposure to the weather
- Secure netting, scaffolding and sidewalk sheds
- Suspend crane operations and secure crane equipment when wind speeds reach 30 mph or greater
- Suspend hoist operations and secure exterior hoists when wind speeds reach 35 mph or greater, unless manufacturer specifications state otherwise
- Brace and secure construction fences and check that silt fences are properly buried and staked
- Cover dirt stock piles
- Clear all storm drains or inlet filters on or near the construction site
A major factor in urban flooding is debris clogging storm drains. DSP asks that any storm drains near job sites are free of any debris and that any potential wind-or water-borne materials or debris are removed from the job site or secured in advance of any weather systems. Do not place construction materials or debris on the curb.
DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND PARKWAYS: Responding to tree emergencies and will continue to do so throughout the storm event. As of Saturday morning, the Department has responded to 44 emergencies. Additionally, the Department is monitoring major corridors and parks and removing debris that could become projectiles.
THE DEPARTMENT OF SANITATION: Continues to remove debris on public property in coordination with other departments and agencies. Everyone should clean up loose debris on their property, at least, up to 18 inches from the curb into the street.
Today (Saturday), trash and recycling collections were suspended with the exception of morning trash collections in the French Quarter and Downtown Development District (DDD). Tomorrow (Sunday), only the morning collection is scheduled to occur in the French Quarter and DDD. Additionally, the Recycling Drop-Off Center, at 2829 Elysian Fields Ave., was canceled.
Residents and small businesses are reminded that they are to secure their carts on their properties between collections. There should not be any carts, bins, bags, or other debris curbside when collections are not scheduled to occur.
Should flooding occur, the City of New Orleans will provide debris removal to eligible residential properties. Properties not eligible for City trash collection should arrange for private debris removal and disposal services. This includes properties with five or more units, hotels, restaurants, bars, unoccupied properties, and those than generate more than 95 gallons per collection outside of the French Quarter and DDD or more than 35 gallons per collection within the French Quarter or DDD. In addition, businesses, which are eligible for garbage collection by the City, are not eligible for the removal of bulky waste by the City. Any debris generated, as the result of work done by contractors, is ineligible for collection by the City. Persons responsible for these properties must also make private arrangements for the removal and disposal of the debris considered as bulky waste.
Transportation Services Preparations Underway
NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY (NORTA): Suspended service until further notice. The RTA will provide service alerts to the public, via the GoMobile app, website, social media, and Ride Line at 504-248-3900.
All services at Union Passenger Terminal (UPT) will be suspended pending the weather, and the facility will be closed. The following carriers will be suspending services:
- Amtrak suspended train services Thursday and Friday. Visit amtrak.com/stations/nol or call 1-800-872-7245 for service updates.
- Greyhound suspend bus services starting at midnight Thursday until Sunday. Please visit greyhound.com or call 1-800-231-2222 for service updates.
- Megabus has suspended services Thursday and Friday and is evaluating Saturday morning and weekend services. Please check with carriers by website at us.megabus.com or call 1-877-462-6342.
Residents encouraged to prepare for rain and review hurricane plans
Gather emergency supplies
- Non-perishable food for 3 days
- 3 gallons of water per person
- Week’s supply of prescription medications
- Manual can opener
- Flashlight & extra batteries
- Matches or lighter
- First Aid kit
- Radio (battery operated or hand crank)
- Books and games
Clean your property and street
- Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts.
- Sweep, bag, and throw away leaves and debris from in front of catch basins.
- Call 3-1-1 to report catch basins that are not functioning.
- Do not lift a catch basin lid or insert anything into a catch basin.
- Prune trees and shrubs.
- Bring outdoor furniture and decorations inside.
- Secure or bring garbage bins inside.
Stay connected and pay attention
- Sign up for text updates. Text BARRY to 888777.
- Follow @nolaready on social media.
- See updates on ready.nola.gov