NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, along with City of New Orleans emergency officials provided an update on the tornado recovery in New Orleans East. Yesterday, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened a disaster recovery center at East New Orleans Public Library (5641 Read Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70127) for residents seeking local and federal services who were impacted by the Feb. 7 tornado. Impacted individuals in Orleans Parish are now eligible for assistance from the federal government to help recover from the severe storms and EF-3 tornado in New Orleans East.
The City has set a 30-day timeline to clear all debris from the impacted area. This is being completed in three curbside passes by City contractors and local, national, non-profit and faith-based organization volunteers.
Below is a list of efforts the City and its partners have undertaken since the tornado touchdown. Residents are urged to monitor www.ready.nola.gov for up-to-date information.
Applying for Federal Assistance
Today, FEMA is on the ground and going door-to-door in the impacted area registering individuals for federal assistance.
You may be eligible to receive direct federal assistance for temporary housing, home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses.
In order to receive federal aid, you must first register with FEMA, even if you have registered with another disaster-relief organization. You must use the name that appears on your Social Security card on your registration. You can register whether you have insurance or not. While FEMA won't duplicate insurance benefits, it may provide assistance if you were underinsured.
When completing your registration you will be asked to provide the following:
- Social Security number
- Address of the damaged home or apartment
- Description of the damage
- Insurance coverage information
- A current contact telephone number
- An address where you can get mail
- Bank account and routing numbers if you prefer direct deposit of any financial assistance
When registering, individuals will receive a FEMA registration number. Make sure to save this number, as it will be needed when contacting FEMA.
Impacted Individuals can register with FEMA the following ways:
Beware of Fraud
Identity thieves and other criminals may attempt to prey on vulnerable survivors while government agencies and charitable groups begin to provide disaster assistance. The most common post-disaster fraud practices include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid.
Local, state and federal officials advise all residents that they never request money for help and always carry identification badges. There is no fee required to apply for or to get help from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or the state.
Survivors who have any suspicion of fraud or scams should immediately call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or TTY 844-889-4357. Complaints also may be made by contacting a local law enforcement agency or by calling the Louisiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889.
Disaster Recovery Center Services
The disaster recovery center is located at East New Orleans Public Library (5641 Read Blvd. New Orleans, LA 70127) and is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Today, case management services will be offered from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., from the following agencies:
- Louisiana Spirits: Mental health counseling/community resource referral
- Catholic Charities: Case management and needs assessment
- Total Community Action: Assessments to determine eligibility for assistance
- Metropolitan Human Services District: Assistance for addiction, alcohol, gambling and mental health
- Veterans Affairs: Providing short-term and long-term assistance for veterans
- Disabled American Veterans: Providing referral and assistance
The following partners are offering additional services:
- Airbnb – Offering urgent accommodations. All service fees are waived for those affected by the disaster and checking in between February 7, 2017 and February 19, 2017. Visit https://www.airbnb.com/disaster/nola.
Businesses Impacted by Tornadoes
The East New Orleans Business Development District, Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training (VIET), the Small Business Administration (SBA) and District E Councilmember James Gray’s Office will hold two presentations for small businesses impacted by last Tuesday’s tornadoes. The presentation will share information about the SBA’s low interest rate disaster loan program.
- Saturday, Feb. 18, time TBD, at the East New Orleans Regional Library located at 5641 Read Blvd.
- Sunday, Feb. 19 at 11 a.m. at Mary Queen of Vietnam Church located at 14001 Dwyer Blvd. Interpreters provided.
Shelter and Services at Joe Brown Park until Wednesday
The temporary shelter at Joe W. Brown Recreation Center (5601 Read Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70127) will close tomorrow, Feb. 15. at 10 a.m. Tonight, Feb. 14 is the last night impacted individuals will have access to the shelter overnight. Last night, 33 impacted individuals stayed in the shelter.
The shelter cannot accept volunteers or donations at this time. Anyone interested in dropping off or picking up in-kind donations of food, water or other supplies are encouraged to visit Household of Faith Church or City Church. Please visit nola.gov for updates on volunteer opportunities and donation drop-off locations.
SNAP Benefits Replacement Support
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services’ (DCFS) is offering temporary replacement SNAP benefit for impacted individuals. Anyone needing assistance must visit a DCFS location. To find a DCFS office near you, click here .
- SNAP Replacement Benefits - Victims of a household misfortune who lost food purchased with SNAP benefits can apply for replacement benefits through DCFS. Note: An actual loss of food benefits would be required to be eligible for replacement benefits. To apply for replacement benefits, the SNAP household must report the destruction or loss of food verbally or in writing within 10 calendar days of the household misfortune, and then must execute the sworn affidavit (SNAP 38) within 10 calendar days of the report of the household misfortune. For the February 7 storm, the deadline to make a report and file an affidavit will be February 17. If a SNAP household reports food loss within the 10-day period but cannot travel to a DCFS office to sign the affidavit due to age, handicap, or distance from the office, a DCFS worker will mail the affidavit to the household. The head of the SNAP household must sign it and return it to the Document Processing Center. To find a DCFS office near you, click here .
- Power outages - If the household misfortune is a power outage, the power must have been out for a minimum of 24 hours, in keeping with federal rules. DCFS works with the Louisiana Public Service Commission to obtain reports of specific areas of power outages.
- Value of Replacement - The value of the replacement benefit shall be in an amount equal to the value of the lost food purchased with SNAP benefits, up to a maximum of one month’s SNAP benefits. If eligible, the replacement benefits are added to the SNAP household’s regular EBT card.
- Lost EBT cards – Current SNAP recipients who lost their EBT cards during the disaster must contact the EBT Call Center at 1-888-997-1117. A new card will be mailed to them at that time with instructions on how to activate the card and set the PIN. Clients cannot obtain replacement EBT cards through the local office.
- More information – Visit the DCFS website at http://www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/ or contact the DCFS call center at 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578).
The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is restoring service to New Orleans East as road conditions and hazards are cleared. Chef Menteur Highway is expected to reopen for transit up to Read Boulevard beginning Saturday, Feb. 18 and will reopen completely on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The following detours will adjust accordingly on Saturday, Feb. 18 and be removed on Tuesday, Feb. 21:
Bus Route 64 Lake Forest
- Buses ending at Walmart – Regular route.
- Buses ending at Michoud/Expedition - OUTBOUND: From Bullard to left on Pressburg to left on Bullard to right on I-10E to I-510 to Chef Menteur Highway exit to left on Chef Menteur Highway to regular route to Michoud/Expedition. INBOUND: From Chef Menteur Highway to right on I-510W on ramp to I-10W to Bullard exit to left on Bullard to regular route.
Bus Route 65 Crowder/Read
- Buses ending at Walmart – Regular route.
- Buses ending at Michoud/Expedition - OUTBOUND: From Bullard to left on Pressburg to left on Bullard to right on I-10E to I-510 to Chef Menteur exit to left on Chef Menteur to regular route to Michoud/Expedition. INBOUND: From Chef Menteur Highway to right on I-510W on ramp to I-10W to Bullard exit to left on Bullard to regular route.
Bus Route 94 Broad
- INBOUND: From Chef Menteur to right on I-510W on ramp to I-10W to Bullard exit to left on Bullard to right on Lake Forest to left on Mayo to Wilson to right on Chef Menteur to regular route.
- OUTBOUND: From Chef Menteur to left on Wilson to Mayo to right on Lake Forest to left on Bullard to right on I-10E to I-510 to Chef Menteur exit to left on Chef Menteur to regular route.
- NASA and Chateau Orleans Apts. will be serviced.
The Following Roads Remain Closed:
Vehicular traffic restricted: Chef Menteur to Dwyer and Wilson to Bullard.
Only residents with ID are allowed in impacted zones.
Police closure points:
- Chef Menteur & Read
- Chef Menteur & Bullard
- Chef Menteur & Downman
- Chef Menteur & Papania
- Dwyer & Bundy
RTA does have a Paratransit vehicle available if needed for residents requiring special transit services. For more information visit them online at www.norta.com or call our customer care Rideline at (504) 248-3900.
The City of New Orleans activated the emergency debris removal process. In an effort to streamline recovery, debris collection and removal of damaged trees on the public rights of way will be addressed by the Department of Sanitation's contractors in the most impacted areas, bounded by Chantilly Drive to Bullard Avenue and from Chef Menteur Highway to Dwyer Road. Only debris resulting from the recent tornado is eligible for collection by the City's contractors.
Guidelines for Pick-Up and Separation
All debris must be placed in front of your property in the area between the sidewalk and curb. Regular household garbage and recycling will be picked up on normal collection days.
- Debris piles are not to be placed on neutral grounds, next to utility poles, trees, mail boxes, electric or water meters, fire hydrants or blocking any travel lanes in the street.
- Debris should be separated as follows: household garbage, construction debris, vegetative debris, household hazardous waste, white goods, and electronics.
- Citizens do not have to cut and bundle branches in 4-feet lengths during this designated debris removal period in the impacted area. Leaves should be bagged.
The Sanitation Department will systematically remove debris and handle damaged trees on each street. There is no need to call 311 to report debris piles or damaged trees on the public rights of way in the area designated above. Collection timelines are taking place on the following dates:
- First Pass: Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 through Monday, Feb. 13. 2017
- Second Pass: Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 through Friday, Feb. 17, 2017
- Third Pass: Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 through Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
Collection crews will work from dawn to dusk each day, pending inclement weather. Each pass will last for four days. Residents should place all debris out by the first day of each pass.
In addition to the debris contractors, crews from the Departments of the Sanitation, Parks and Parkways and Public Works will continue to remove debris and address damaged trees in the entire impacted area. Calls for debris piles and damaged trees on the public right of way, street lights, street signs and other matters outside of the area bounded by Chantilly Drive to Bullard Avenue and from Chef Menteur Highway to Dwyer Road, should be directed to 311.
In order for debris clearing crews to work as efficiently as possible, vehicle’s found blocking debris piles from clearing trucks, will be moved to a nearby location out of the debris clearing zone by the City of New Orleans Department of Public Works. There is no fee associated with the moving of vehicles and is only done to ensure a timely clean-up. If individuals are unable to find their vehicles, please call Parking Enforcement at (504) 658-8200.
City Church of New Orleans
City Church will be receiving donations, distributing goods and dispatching teams to neighborhoods to clean up debris.
WHEN: Through Saturday, Feb. 18
Volunteers should arrive by 9 a.m.
Distribution Center open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
WHERE: 13123 I-10 Service Rd., New Orleans, LA 70128
HOW: Volunteers can sign up at citychurchno.com. City Church is also taking walk-up volunteers every morning at 9 am. Volunteers interested in assisting with community relief efforts are asked to bring tools such as crowbars, shovels, work gloves etc. Arrive in pants and work clothes. Wear closed-toeshoes.
HandsOn United Way Volunteer Center
Seeking volunteers to help clear debris and pack up homes of impacted New Orleans East residents.
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 18
HOW: Advance sign up preferred at unitedwaysela.org/tornadorelief. Arrive in pants and work clothes. Wear closed-toe shoes.
Household of Faith, in partnership with Samaritan’s Purse
Household of Faith is seeking volunteer support with debris clean up, accepting donations/volunteers for sorting of non-perishable food items, toiletries and cleaning supplies.
WHEN: Through Friday, Feb. 17
Clean Up Volunteers: 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Sorting Volunteers: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
WHERE: 9300 I-10 Service Rd., New Orleans, LA 70127
HOW: Volunteers can sign up at here. Household of Faith/Samaritan’s Purse is also accepting walk-up volunteers at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Please bring your own lunch or snacks and water. Arrive in pants and work clothes. Wear closed-toe shoes.
Second Harvest Food Bank is seeking volunteers for food distribution sites and in the Second Harvest Community Kitchen (see below).
HOW: Volunteers interested in serving are encouraged to sign up here or by calling (504) 729-2850.
SBP is conducting immediate cleanup of debris and data collection to complement recovery efforts.
WHEN: SBP is accepting volunteers through Sunday, Feb. 19.
WHERE: Sign up using the link below to learn more.
HOW: Volunteers should sign up here.
United Saints Recovery
Untied Saints Recovery is conducting debris cleanup.
WHEN: Sending volunteers into New Orleans East on Thursday, Feb. 16 and Friday, Feb. 17.
HOW: Interested groups volunteers should email Jen Inbert at firstname.lastname@example.org
The organizations below are actively accepting donations of the following items:
Cleaning supplies, i.e. contractor bags, push brooms, wheel barrows, work gloves, bleach, etc. as well as toiletries and non-perishable food items.
WHERE: 13123 I-10 Service Rd.
Household of Faith
WHERE: 9300 1-10 Service Rd.
WHERE: 13235 Chef Menteur Hwy, Suite A.
United Way, in partnership with Household of Faith
WHERE: 2515 Canal St.
The below organizations are accepting pet items for the Louisiana SPCA. Items needed include dry pet food, leashes, collars, bowls, and crates for pets.
- Canine Connection, 4920 Tchoupitoulas St.
- Camp Bow Wow, 3301 Conti St.
- Demo Diva, 6246 Memphis St.
- New Orleans Flea Market, 4228 Magazine St.
The following organizations are active distribution points for non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, and toiletries.
City Church of New Orleans
WHERE: 13123 I- 10 Service Rd.
Household of Faith, in partnership with United Way and Samaritan’s Purse
WHERE: 9300 1-10 Service Rd.
Citizens are encouraged to sign up for email and text message alerts by going to http://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.