NEW ORLEANS, LA— Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged residents to brace for severe weather conditions as Tropical Storm Isaac moved toward an expected Tuesday afternoon landfall as a strong Category 1 or Category 2 hurricane according to the National Weather Service. Mayor Landrieu has declared a state of emergency and mobilized City departments and partner agencies to prepare for a significant storm.
“We have a plan in place to secure the City, and we have a plan to respond quickly in the event of emergencies,” Mayor Landrieu said. “We’re confident that the work we’ve done in the last few years makes us fully capable of handling this type of storm.”
At this time, there is no mandatory evacuation order for New Orleans. However, Mayor Landrieu strongly encouraged residents who live outside the City’s levee protection system or in low-lying areas (like Venetian Isles and Irish Bayou) to get to higher ground. Residents who live inside the levee system should prepare to take shelter with essential supplies including food, water, and medications. Residents will need to be self-sufficient for at least three days in the event of street flooding and power outages.
“Now is the time to take every precaution that you have been prepared to take over the past few years because that will determine our success in getting through this event,” Mayor Landrieu added. “Stay calm, take this seriously and execute your plans."
The City will not operate shelters of last resort. However, four local homeless shelters have added additional capacity to serve homeless residents.
"All public safety agencies are fully operational and prepared to respond to any storm-related situation," said Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety. The City’s Emergency Operation Center is now working on 24/7 until further notice. Additionally, the City’s 311 service is operating 24/7 for general information and to report non-life threatening emergencies such as:
Storm preparation information
Sidewalk and road problems
Residents should call 911 ONLY for life-threatening emergencies.
NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT
The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) has activated its hurricane preparedness plan, and is fully ready to protect people and property in neighborhoods and business district. The NOPD will ticket motorists who drive faster than 5 mph on streets with standing water.
NEW ORLEANS FIRE DEPARTMENT
The New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) is fully staffed and prepared to respond to emergencies involving fire, water or hazardous materials. Additionally, the NOFD Urban Search and Rescue team is on standby in the event that it is needed. NOFD encourages residents to practice generator safety by operating them only in well-ventilated areas, away from doors, windows and vent openings. The NOFD also urges residents to use candles and kerosene lamps safely and never leave them unattended.
ORLEANS PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE
The Sheriff’s office has relocated 1,037 inmates from the Temporary Jail (tents) and Temporary Detention Center to state corrections facilities.
Until further notice, the SPCA will be on emergency response only. The SPCA has suspended adoptions and is evacuating adoptable pets to Dallas. Residents are advised to take necessary precautions to safeguard their pets at home or during evacuations.
The Health Department is contacting approximately 1,000 people previously registered as having medical special needs and will transport those individuals to shelters in Baton Rouge if they wish to leave. Residents with medical special needs may call 504-658-2500 for more information.
The following shelters will be available for homeless persons on Monday, August 27:
New Orleans Mission, 1130 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, take in at 4 p.m. (adults only: ages 18 and over) 504-270-4967.
Ozanam Inn, 843 Camp Street, take in beginning at 6 p.m. (males only) 504-523-1184.
Covenant House, 611 N. Rampart Street, take in underway (males and females ages 16-21 and females of any age with children) 504-523-1111.
St. Jude, 400 N. Rampart St., take in beginning at 5 p.m. (males and females) 504-931-6993.
REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY (RTA)
Streetcar service was shut down at 2 p.m. on Monday, August 27, and will be replaced on their routes by transit buses. RTA bus service will continue until winds reach 25 mph.
Other Ground Transportation
Greyhound will have its last outgoing bus at 9:30 p.m. and last incoming bus at 11:00 p.m. on Monday.
Amtrak’s last train, The Crescent, is scheduled to arrive around 7:30 p.m. on Monday. There will be no outgoing service for the next 48 hours.
Sanitation Department contractors will have regular pickups on Monday, but will not pick up trash on Tuesday and Wednesday. Once trash is picked up on Monday, residents should secure all trash bins.
SEWERAGE & WATER BOARD
All 24 Sewerage & Water Board pumps are 100% operational, and backup generators at the Sewerage & Water Board Plant are active.
The City is allowing residents to secure their vehicles on the neutral ground throughout the weather event.
Entergy has activated its emergency response center, prestaged all equipment and activated mutual assistance agreements with other agencies. Customers are encouraged to go to www.entergy.com to sign up for text messages. Residents may call 1-800-9OUTAGE to report outages or downed power lines.
The department of Public Works has contractors and staff on standby for road repair and debris removal. Multiple crews on Sunday began cleaning out catch basins.
Orleans Parish School Board, Recovery School District and Archdiocese of New Orleans schools are closed through Wednesday, August 29.
Tulane University, Dillard University, Southern University at New Orleans and The University of New Orleans will be closed through Wednesday, August 29. Xavier University and Our Lady of Holy Cross College will close through Thursday, August. 30.
New Orleans Public Library locations will be closed through Tuesday, August 28. Mid-week weather conditions will determine operating hours for the remainder of the week.
NEW ORLEANS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
All airlines are going to cease operations at the end of the schedule today. There will be no flights for Tuesday, August 28th. The Airport is not an evacuation shelter and people will not be allowed to stay in terminal during the storm. Travelers are encouraged to check individual airlines websites for latest information.
New Orleans hotels remain open. City officials are in contact with hotels and conventions in town in order to ensure safety of New Orleans visitors as well as New Orleans residents. The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau provide hospitality industry updates on their webpage at http://www.facebook.com/NewOrleansCVB
Prepare to shelter in place with supplies needed in the event of loss of water and/ or power.
Clean or clear catch basins near your home.
Check on your neighbors and the elderly to make sure they have plans in place.
Bring in or secure any loose objects outside.
Board up your windows or hatch down shutters.
EMERGENCY SUPPLY KITS
According to Emergency Preparedness officials, families should build an emergency supply kit at home that includes:
Water (one gallon per person, per day for at least 3 days)
Non-perishable food (three-day supply for evacuation)
Non-electric can opener for food
Radio (battery-powered or hand crank)
First aid kit (medications and medical supplies, seven-day supply)
Personal hygiene items
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Important family documents
Citizens are encouraged to sign up for email and text message alerts by going to ready.nola.gov. This service allows city officials to contact citizens during emergencies, which includes life-threatening weather events, evacuation or shelter in place information, and other pertinent emergency information. In addition to the website, the City operates a twitter handle: @nolaready.
IMPORTANT NUMBERS TO KNOW
For life threatening emergencies, call 911
To report a non-life threatening problem or to get information, call 311
Non-lfe threatening crime, call 504-821-2222
Sewerage and Water Boards 24/7 line, call 504-529-2837
To report power outages, call 1-800-968-8243 (1-800-9OUTAGE)
Report levee issues on the East Bank to Orleans Levee District Police at 504-283-9800 and on the West Bank call the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority West at 504-340-0318