The importance of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces has become the new national pastime. In the past month, we’ve all viewed tutorials and become experts on how to properly wash our hands for 20 seconds or more, but what about our groceries, shoes and mail-order packages? You’re likely wiping down some surfaces with disinfectant, but are you wiping down all the right surfaces? If keeping your home safe from COVID-19 is the priority, what comes after 6 feet of social distancing and a liberally applied hand sanitizer? Some say it entails a lot more.
From the Sewerage & Water Board
The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, in consultation with the Louisiana Department of Health, has canceled the precautionary boil water advisory for residents and businesses in New Orleans after bacteriological tests confirmed that water in the area was safe to drink and could be used for personal needs. Water samples from across the area have tested negative for contamination. Customers who have not used their water supply during this precautionary boil water advisory are advised to flush their internal and external plumbing by running water through their system for several minutes.
The Sewerage & Water Board issued a precautionary boil water advisory for the area bounded by South Carrollton Avenue, the Mississippi River and the Pontchartrain Expressway following a loss of Entergy power at the Carrollton Water Plant, resulting in low water pressure. The above map of the affected area can be found here. It was triggered by the massive power outage after the tornado touched down in the Carrollton area early Wednesday (May 12), reports say. Residents in the affected area are advised to use bottled or boiled tap water to drink, cook, clean food or brush teeth until further notice. Residents with compromised immune systems should also use safe water to wash hands, shower or bathe.
A motorcyclist was killed on Tchoupitoulas Street in the East Riverside area late Friday, the New Orleans Police Department reported. Two others were injured in the crash. The motorcyclist was traveling west over the speed limit at about 9:50 p.m when he struck a woman crossing Tchoupitoulas near Gen. Taylor Street, police said. He was thrown from his bike, and medical responders declared him dead at the scene. He was 45.
Roadwork update: Audubon, Black Pearl, East Carrollton, Broadmoor, Central City, East Riverside, Fontainebleau, Hollygrove, Octavia
The Mayor’s Office announced in its monthly roadwork newsletter that an unprecedented amount of infrastructure work — altogether more than $550 million in roadway and other projects — is currently underway in New Orleans. Mayor LaToya Cantrell also said more more projects are in the works. She noted that $350 million in bonds approved for a tax-exempt sale will lead to multiple projects out for advertisement in the coming months. These projects include improving public spaces, adding stormwater storage and fixing streets. Additionally, about $100 million in joint infrastructure roadway projects, $10 million in capital building projects, and $100 million in green infrastructure projects will go out for bid in the next few months.
A puppy was killed by a New Orleans police officer Saturday night in the Lower Garden District, the New Orleans Police Department reported. The department’s Public Integrity Bureau is investigating the shooting, which occurred about 9:30 p.m. in the 1400 block of Felicity Street. The 18-week-old puppy, named Apollo, was recently adopted by the Lower Garden District residents, NOLA.com reports. The officer was investigating a complaint over loud voices at the home.
From the Mayor’s Office
Beginning Monday (March 8) and continuing through Friday, (March 12), weather permitting, the 1800 block of Dublin Street, between Hickory and Cohn streets, will be closed to vehicular traffic to allow construction crews to start pavement restoration. Road closure signs will be in place throughout the process. During this time, street parking and driveway access will be impacted. Residents and visitors are reminded to adhere to “No Parking” signage to avoid being ticketed or towed, as well as to use caution when driving, bicycling and walking near the construction site. This work is part of the $15 million Hollygrove Leonidas Group A project that includes replacing/repairing damaged underground water, sewer and/or drainage lines; repairing damaged curbs and gutters; patching the roadway with asphalt; replacing damaged sidewalks and driveway aprons; and installing Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps at intersections.
Two football coaches at Lusher Charter School suffered serious injuries in a hit-and-run accident on Mardi Gras (Feb. 16) night, the school’s CEO and athletic director told the Lusher community in an email on Saturday. One coach lost both legs as a result of the hit-and run. The email from CEO Kathy Riedlinger and Athletic Director Louis Landrum sent Feb. 20 stated the accident caused “serious injury to Coach Pierre Warren and life-threatening injury to Coach Adam Sivia.”
The NOPD’s Traffic Division will conduct an upcoming sobriety checkpoint within Orleans Parish. The checkpoint will be in operation from 9 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 4) through Friday (Feb. 5) at 5 a.m.
During this time, motorists will experience minimal delays at the checkpoint and should have the proper documentation available if requested by officers (proof of vehicle insurance, driver’s license, etc.)
Sexual assault survivors in the criminal justice system discussed in virtual ‘listening session’ for DA’s office
The new District Attorney’s Office transition team held a virtual forum on Saturday (Jan. 23) for the public to discuss their concerns and priorities with the DA’s office, now led by the newly elected Jason Williams.
The theme of Saturday’s zoom meeting was “Protect Vulnerable Communities.” This is also one of the working groups in his transition team. Attendees brought up a wide range of concerns: police treatment of sexual assault survivors, policing in schools, racism in policing and the treatment of homeless people. The working group — led by Madeleine Landrieu, the Loyola Law School dean and a former judge, and Mary Claire Landry, the director of the New Orleans Family Justice Center — aims to enhance witness and victim support, address threats to vulnerable communities, increase connection to community and care, and addressing child abuse and intimate partner violence.
What constitutes the term “vulnerable communities” was left undefined, and attendees were encouraged to suggest which groups could be included.
Jason Williams was not in attendance. Rather, the representatives were there to hear concerns and suggestions from the public and advocacy groups, with the understanding that their comments would be taken into consideration when the group issued their final recommendations to Williams.
As chief prosecutor, the Orleans Parish DA holds tremendous power in a city with an extremely high rate of incarceration.
While the past year has taught us that the future is highly unpredictable, in New Orleans, roadwork will always endure.
As roadwork has been classified an “essential activity,” infrastructure improvements have continued through the pandemic, though with modifications aimed at worker safety. On Thursday (Jan. 14) evening, the Office of Neighborhood Engagement hosted an online meeting to notify St. Thomas and Irish Channel residents about street milling and reconstruction work coming to their area. The $7 million project is officially called East Riverside/Garden District/Irish Channel/St.Thomas Group A.
With about $2.2 billion in funding from FEMA, and additional funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Roadwork NOLA oversees over 200 Department of Public Works and Sewerage & Water Board projects.