The National Weather Service downgraded the hurricane warning for New Orleans to a tropical storm warning early Tuesday, as Hurricane Sally sat in the Gulf of Mexico off the Mississippi-Alabama border. The storm is expected to make landfall late tonight or Wednesday near Mobile, putting New Orleans on Sally’s west side, where the threat is lower. City Hall, NORD, libraries and trash collection will resume normal operations Wednesday. Vehicles will need to be off the neutral grounds by 8 a.m. on Wednesday. The Category 1 storm, which has 85 mph winds, has been moving at 2 miles an hour.
Tropical Storm Sally is expected to make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane and make its presence known throughout the metro area through Wednesday. Sally was moving slowly west-northwest across the Gulf of Mexico on Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center reported. At 7 a.m. it was about 115 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River with maximum sustained winds at 65 mph. Due to a shift in the forecast cone to the east, rainfall is now forecast to total between 4 to 6 inches in New Orleans, with locally higher amounts possible. Parking on neutral grounds and sidewalks is allowed until further notice.
Tropical Storm Sally is expected to bring hurricane conditions to southern Louisiana. Overnight and morning updates from the National Hurricane Center show its intensity has increased. The storm is now forecast to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane, with impacts likely to begin Monday and last into Wednesday. City officials are urging residents to finish their preparations today. A hurricane warning and a storm surge warning are in effect for New Orleans.
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.
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 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.”
I hear it’s pouring rain today in New Orleans. How apt. Most of my friends say they will not watch television today. I haven’t seen my friend Kim Abramson in person for years, but today her Instagram post was one of grief. It reads, “We won’t turn on the TV today, because I can’t take the images.