Jul 122019
 

The rainfall prediction as of Friday at 4 p.m. showed about 10 inches for New Orleans. (National Hurricane Center)

From the Mayor’s Office

Beginning this evening — stay home. That’s what city officials have been telling New Orleanians as te city remains under a tropical storm warning and Tropical Storm Barry threatens to turn into a Category 1 hurricane.

“We are focusing on 8 p.m. this evening, asking people to stay at home and shelter in place,” Mayor Cantrell said. “Have commodities and supplies to last you an upward of 72 hours. We are continuing to monitor heavy rainfall, storm surge and levels of the Mississippi River.”

The greatest risk for heavy rainfall currently will be tonight through Sunday. A flash flood watch will continue to remain in effect.

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East will close the Highway 90 floodgate at 6 p.m. tonight or as conditions dictate. 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 is calling for a voluntary evacuation for these areas outside of levee protection.

Effects of storm surge have the potential to increase the Mississippi River stage to 19 feet at the Carrollton Gauge on Saturday. The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Mississippi River including the New Orleans area through Saturday, July 13. SLFPA East and West are in the process of closing all floodgates in the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System.

Tropical storm force winds have already reached the southeastern Louisiana coast. Strong winds are also expected locally in squalls today and through the weekend.

Public safety

Yesterday, the U.S. president 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 New Orleans Office of Homeland Security will activate the City’s Emergency Operations Center 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.

The New Orleans Police Department and New Orleans Fire Department have pre-staged barricades in flood-prone areas to prevent drivers from entering high water. The Interstate 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 911 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.

The New Orleans ICE Field Office has confirmed they will temporarily suspend immigration enforcement in the storm impacted area.

The New Orleans Fire Department has been increased staffing, and boats and high-water vehicles are available and in service. Residents are reminded to turn off any propane tanks that are secured to barbecue pits or elsewhere.

Portable generators should be used outdoors in a well-ventilated location at least ten feet from any structure and away from doors, windows or openings in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from generator exhaust. Do not try to power your house with a portable generator, this is extremely dangerous. This can back-feed to the power grid causing harm to utility workers, your neighbors and firefighters.

Please have a battery-operated flashlight on hand, and use extreme caution when using candles or kerosene lamps. For more information on fire safety during and after a storm, visit nola.gov/nofd/safety/hurricane/.

911 services and 311 services will continue to be available 24/7 both by phone and the Web.

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 or call 311 to enroll in the Special Needs Registry. The New Orleans Health Department is prepared to assist people who are unable to stay in their homes due to power outages. The New Orleans Emergency Medical Services has additional ambulances and resources deployed and ready to respond.

Infrastructure preparations

All staffed pumping stations will have operators on duty throughout the event. Sewerage & Water Board crews will monitor all underpass pumping stations. All turbines are available for use. S&WB is taking the proactive step today to shut down an electrical feeder that could be damaged by the impact of storm surge on an already high Mississippi 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. S&WB 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% capacity, but officials do 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.

While our drainage pumps will pump one inch of water in the first hour and half an inch thereafter, the impacts of Tropical Storm Barry are expected to outpace our system. Depending on where the heavy rainfall takes place, residents should expect flooding.

Entergy Louisiana has announced the restoration of service outages, caused by Wednesday’s storm event, in advance of the arrival of Tropical Storm Barry. Entergy is 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.

Today , the Department of Public Works had12 vac truck crews cleaning storm drains across the city, including seven emergency crews from Compliance EnviroSystems LLC and three emergency crews from Blue Flash Express LLC.

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.

As of Friday morning, the city had 58 flooded vehicles that had to be towed. Residents whose vehicles have been moved should call 311 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.

The Department of Parks and Parkways is responding to tree emergencies and will continue to do so throughout the storm event. As of Friday morning, the Department of
Parks and Parkways has responded to 33 emergencies. Additionally, the department is monitoring major corridors and parks and removing debris that could become projectiles.

The Sanitation Department today will continue to remove debris on public property in coordination with other departments and agencies. Garbage and recycling collections will occur as scheduled. On Saturday, garbage and recycling collections will be suspended.

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.

Residents are advised not to place debris from Wednesday’s storm event curbside until Monday, July 15, weather permitting. Additionally, the Recycling Drop Off Center at 2829 Elysian Fields Avenue will be closed on Saturday, July 13, 2019.

Transportation

RTA will suspend service at 8 p.m. The RTA anticipates service will be suspended through Saturday and is expected to resume Sunday morning, weather permitting. Paratransit service is being provided as medically necessary.

All services at Union Passenger Terminal will be suspended pending the weather, and the facility will be closed.

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.

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