It’s hurricane prep time again in New Orleans

For the seventh time this year, New Orleans is in the path of a tropical system. The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for New Orleans on Tuesday morning, as Hurricane Zeta headed north from the Yucatan Peninsular with a late-Wednesday landfall predicted for southeastern Louisiana. City officials are urging residents to prepare today for a hurricane. To help with that prep, the city is distributing sandbags this morning. District B Councilman Jay Banks announced free sandbag distribution for New Orleans residents at Dryades YMCA, 2220 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., from 8 a.m. until supplies run out.

Free sandbags offered at Dryades YMCA

The New Orleans City Council is partnering with the Mayor’s Office to offer free sandbags to residents across the city to help them prepare for Tropical Storm Laura. There will be four distribution sites today (Tuesday, Aug. 25) until noon, including one in Central City. No documentation is required, and sandbags are limited to four per person. Bags will be distributed in Central City from 8 a.m. until noon at the Dryades YMCA, 2220 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

City has a plan for the 2019 hurricane season — and you should, too

The city has a new evacuation plan in place for the 2019 hurricane season, which begins today and runs through Nov. 30. For the fifth year in a row, the season got ahead of itself, however. On May 20, the first named storm of the year, Subtropical Storm Andrea, formed in the Atlantic near Bermuda, according to the National Hurricane Center. The center gives 2019 a 70% probability for nine to 15 named storms, four to eight hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes.

Tropical Storm Gordon expected to strengthen to Category 1 hurricane before landfall

Tropical Storm Gordon is expected to continue to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane today as it marches across the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall this evening, likely on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, Gordon’s maximum sustained winds were 65 mph, and expected to strengthen to 75 mph by 7 p.m., classifying it as a Category 1 hurricane. Landfall is expected Tuesday evening in the Northern Gulf Coast between New Orleans East and Mobile, and forecasters are warning of 2-to-4 feet of storm surge at the mouth of the Mississippi River. “A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Orleans Parish, with the potential for winds of 60 to 70 miles per hour (mph), mainly in gusts as rain bands move through the area,” according to an update from the city of New Orleans. “High winds can cause damage to unsecured property, snap or uproot trees, blow debris onto roads, and cause power and communications outages.”