NEW ORLEANS, LA— This afternoon, the City of New Orleans provided a status update on the ground conditions as Tropical Storm Isaac moves out of south Louisiana. Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged residents to remain patient and continue to be on guard as hazardous conditions remain outside and on the roadways. The City also announced that the National Guard has opened three Point of Distribution (POD) sites where citizens can pick up critical supplies including ice, water, and MREs. The Mayor also announced that the dusk-to-dawn curfew has been lifted.
“Tropical Storm Isaac is moving out of our area and the worst of the storm is behind us,” Mayor Landrieu said. “However, there are still dangerous conditions outside. Our city remains under a tornado watch and flash flood watch and there are many downed trees and power lines. Conditions on the roadways are hazardous. I urge you to stay off them as much as possible. And when you move around the city, please stop at every intersection. Please drive with extreme caution.”
The National Guard is now opening three emergency POD sites where citizens can pick up critical supplies including ice, water, and MREs in New Orleans East, Bywater, and on the West Bank. POD sites will be open from 6am until approximately 8pm or until daylight allows. Those locations include:
5501 Read Blvd in New Orleans East near the intersection of Read and Lake Forrest Blvd;
2730 Vespasian Blvd on the West Bank; and
700 Poland Avenue in the Bywater.
The dusk-to-dawn curfew for New Orleans has been lifted. However, residents are urged to use caution. Crews are working to clear debris from the streets and repair traffic signals throughout the city. Residents are asked to stop at every intersection out of an abundance of caution. The NOPD will be out in full force tonight enforcing the law.
The City of New Orleans has deployed approximately 2,900 emergency personnel that are on the ground maintaining order and assisting with recovery. At day break today, more than 1,500 responders have fanned out across the city to begin clearing debris, fixing traffic signals and street lights, placing temporary stop signs, and restoring power.
More than 250 Parks and Parkways and Sanitation workers and contractors are clearing debris and downed trees. They are clearing major corridors, problem areas called into 311 and 911 and others identified during assessment.
Dozens of Public Works employees and contractors are restoring stop signs and street signals at intersections.
Property Management is assessing the condition of City buildings and moving to repair damage from the storm.
The most impacted areas of the city were outside the levee protection system. The City has dispatched crews to Lake Catherine, Irish Bayou, Fort Pike, and Venetian Isles to provide assistance and supplies as the water subsides. Mayor Landrieu visited the area earlier today.
The City’s Emergency Operations Center, which has operated around the clock since Monday, is continuing to coordinate damage assessments and cleanup efforts. The City’s 311 hotline is also operating around the clock for residents seeking information and for residents to report street flooding, malfunctioning traffic signals or other issues of concern. The 311 hotline has received over 16,000 calls since Monday.
An emergency declaration has been declared that includes Orleans Parish for public assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures. FEMA is not reimbursing individual home owners. For home insurance purposes, the City encourages citizens to closely track their recovery costs and activities by taking pictures and keeping all receipts and other documents.
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As of 4:00 p.m., just over 150,000 Entergy customers were without power. Entergy reports that more than 1,100 workers are working to restore power in the city. Power outages or downed power lines should be reported to Entergy at 1-800-968-8243 (1-800-9OUTAGE).
NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT
The New Orleans Police Department has all hands on deck, with 1,200 personnel on duty to respond to public safety issues. Currently, 1,000 Louisiana National Guard troops are deployed city-wide in every police district to supplement uniformed patrol. As of Wednesday afternoon, NOPD officers arrested individuals for looting. Looting will absolutely not be tolerated and anyone found will be arrested.
NEW ORLEANS FIRE DEPARTMENT
NOFD has all hands on deck to respond to calls. In the last 24 hours NOFD has worked three fires, including a house fire caused by a candle. Given the ongoing power outages, residents should be extremely careful when using generators and candles.
The City has received numerous reports of downed limbs and debris. Crews have been deployed to take damage assessments and begin clean up.
Regular trash collection will resume on Friday, August 31, 2012.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG NEW ORLEANS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
All flights have been cancelled today at Armstrong International Airport. The Airport now has power restored. Commercial flights should resumte tomorrow, August 31, 2012. Travelers should check with their airlines for information about specific flights.
A select number of RTA bus routes are back up and running. Streetcar service remains closed as crews clear debris from routes. An updated list of operating bus lines can be found at http://ready.nola.gov.
ALL vehicles must be moved off neutral ground by NOON tomorrow, Friday, Aug 31. Violators will be towed.
City Hall will be reopened on Tuesday, September 4
City libraries- The Main Library tentatively plans to resume normal business hours starting Friday, August 31 from 10am to 5pm. The Martin Luther King Jr. and Central City libraries, both normally open on Fridays will follow the schedules of the schools in which they are located, and remain closed until Tuesday, September 4th. All other NOPL locations, which are normally closed on Fridays, will reopen on Saturday, September 1st, operating their normal 10am to 5pm schedule.
Public, Catholic and private schools will resume on Tuesday, September 4
Colleges and universities will resume on Tuesday, September 4
Citizens that parked their vehicles on neutral grounds need to remove those by noon on Friday, August 31 or they will be towed. Parking under trees could also put vehicles in harm’s way from branches downed by high winds.
Citizens are encouraged to sign up for email and text message alerts by going to ready.nola.gov. This service allows city officials to contact citizens during emergencies, which includes life-threatening weather events, evacuation or shelter in place information, and other pertinent emergency information. In addition to the website, the City operates a twitter handle: @nolaready.
IMPORTANT NUMBERS TO KNOW
For life threatening emergencies, call 911
To report a non-life threatening problem or to get information, call 311
Non-life threatening crime, 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)
Report levee issues on the East Bank to Orleans Levee District Police at 504-283-9800 and on the West Bank call the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority West at 504-340-0318
PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED WEEKEND EVENTS
The Southern Decadence Festival will go on this weekend
Tulane University’s home football game will be played at the Superdome this Saturday.