Joe Giarrusso: What you need to know as Tropical Storm Barry approaches

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District A Councilman Joe Giarrusso issued these updates and reminders as Tropical Storm Barry approaches:

As we prepare for Barry’s landfall, my staff and I have been getting updates from city, state and federal officials. Here are some important details.

Forecast and track

As of the latest reports, the forecast track is moving eastward with landfall near St. Mary Parish. The current expectation, which is subject to change, is that New Orleans could get 10-15 inches of rain.

The river crest projection has fallen by 1 foot (from projected 20 feet to projected 19 feet). The Army Corps of Engineers stands by the integrity of levees and, at this time, do not foresee levee overtopping or overflow.

City services

Trash that was not picked up Wednesday should have been picked up today. Trash pickup will be suspended Friday and Saturday. Please secure your cans now. My staff and I found many catch basins clogged with trash and debris.

The Department of Public Works has trucks on the streets today clearing catch basins and other parts of the drainage system. If you see a catch basin blocked with debris, please remove the obstructions now, before the rain starts up again. Please call 311 if you see a catch basin that is not functioning.

The Sewerage & Water Board says 118 to 120 pumps are available and all pumping stations will have operators on duty throughout the event. Additionally, the S&WB reports that there is sufficient power available.


All streetcars have been replaced with bus service. Depending on the storm progression, cutbacks on RTA service will begin one to two hours prior to landfall, as needed.

Do not drive through flooded streets as it pushes water into homes, businesses and cars. For your safety and to ensure free-flow of emergency services, do not drive around barricades as they are placed in low-lying areas that are known to flood.

If your car stalls in water, do not try to restart the ignition again to avoid a more costly repair.

Other safety information

People are encouraged to voluntarily evacuate if they desire. Otherwise, please shelter in place.

Sign up for the Special Needs Registry here if you might need extra help during an emergency:

To receive updates, sign up for NOLA Ready.

Stay informed by tuning into weather reports on TV and radio and heed warnings.

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, including flooded streets, always call 911.

(National Hurricane Center)

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