Mayor Landrieu Announces Critical Steps in Tornado Clean-Up Effort

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Office of the Mayor Press Releases & Media Advisories


February 9, 2017

Contact: Erin Burns

For Media Inquiries Only
(504) 658-4945

Mayor Landrieu Announces Critical Steps in Tornado Clean Up Effort

NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that critical steps in the clean-up efforts have begun for tornado damage in New Orleans East. The City, Governor’s Office, FEMA and the Small Business Administration formed four teams to canvass the entire impacted area and conduct a preliminary damage assessment to determine the eligibility of a federal disaster declaration.


The City has set a 30-day timeline to clear all debris from the impacted area. This will be completed in three passes by the Department of Sanitation and local, national, non-profit and faith-based organization volunteers.


In addition to clean-up efforts, the City, in conjunction with City Council, has introduced a building permit fee waiver ordinance to ease the burden on impacted individuals as they begin to rebuild their homes and businesses.


The National Weather Service confirmed and classified Tuesday’s tornado in New Orleans East as an EF-3. Approximately 300 properties were severely damaged over the 2-2.5 mile tornado path. Below is a list of efforts the City and its partners have undertaken since the tornado touchdown. Residents are urged to monitor for up-to-date information.


Public Safety

For the second night, no major incidents were reported in the impacted area. Beginning today, Feb. 9 at 3 p.m., New Orleans 7th District Police Department will resume normal operation. Officers will continue a highly visible, unified, multi-agency patrol including assistance from the Louisiana National Guard and other state and local partners. At this time, there are no reported fatalities. Thirty-three injuries have been reported, 31 of which have been treated and discharged. Two patients remain in the hospital.


Public safety teams completed two full search and rescue sweeps of the impacted area and inspected over 5,143 structures.


Temporary Shelter

The City has opened a temporary shelter at Joe W. Brown Recreation Center (5601 Read Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70127) for impacted residents. Last night, 97 impacted individuals stayed in the shelter. Resources for pets are also provided but they will not be guaranteed shelter within the facility. Food, water, cots and blankets are available to those who utilize the shelter overnight.


The New Orleans Health Department, with support from the Louisiana Red Cross, Catholic Charities and New Orleans Fire Department, is providing basic medical care and prescription assistance. Food, water and cleaning supplies will be available for pick up.


Tarps will be distributed by NOFD and other agencies this afternoon by going door-to-door for those with major roof damage. Tarps will NOT be available for pickup at Joe Brown. 



Entergy has restored power to approximately 7,200 of the 10,400 impacted structures. Crews are working around the clock and expect to have all power restored by Saturday, Feb. 11. There are approximately 300 Entergy crew members and contractors working in the area to assess damage, clear debris on roads and repair the electrical facilities.


Preliminary damage reports include roughly 230 damaged and downed poles, 143 damaged transformers, 50 downed transmission poles (the lines that bring the power from the power plant to the substations) and 207 spans of downed and damaged distribution lines (the power lines that provide residents and businesses with power).


Customers are encouraged to go to to sign up for text messages.  Residents may call 1-800-9OUTAGE to report outages or downed power lines.


School Closures for Thursday Feb. 10, 2017

  • ReNew Schaumburg Elementary
  • Einstein Sherwood Forest Elementary: ONLY GRADES PK-2; Grades 3-5 should report to school at Reed High (5316 Michoud Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70129)


The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is restoring service to New Orleans East as road conditions and hazards are cleared. Some routes remain on detour. The detours are as follows:

   Bus Route 64-Lake Forest
   Service restored to regular route.

   Bus Route 65-Crowder/Read

   Service restored to regular route.

   Bus Route 94-Broad

   Service outbound to New Orleans East will terminate at Wilson. Buses will travel on

    I-10 to Crowder to Lake Forest to Bullard and return to regular route and continue to      



From Michoud buses will travel to Bullard on regular route to Lake Forest to Crowder then board I-10 to Ray St. exit and return to regular route. 


No service will be provided between intersection of Chef Menteur/Ray to intersection of Chef Menteur/Bullard.


RTA Shuttle Service to shelter at Joe Brown Park:

RTA is providing shuttle service to the City’s shelter in Joe Brown Park for residents without transportation.

Pick up points for Shelter Shuttle Service are as follows:

  • Dwyer Road and Wilson Avenue
  • Dwyer Road and Crowder Boulevard
  • Dwyer Road and Wright Road

The Following Roads Remain Closed:

Vehicular traffic restricted: Chef Menteur to Dwyer and Wilson to Bullard

Only pedestrians with ID are allowed in impacted zones

Police closure points:

  • Chef Menteur & Read
  • Chef Menteur & Bullard
  • Chef Menteur & Downman
  • Chef Menteur & Bullard
  • Chef Menteur & Papania
  • Chef Menteur & Wright
  • Chef Menteur & Bundy
  • Dwyer & Wright
  • Dwyer & Read
  • Dwyer & Bundy
  • Dwyer & Bundy
  • Dwyer & Crowder
  • Dwyer & Wilson
  • Pressburg & Bullard

RTA does have a Paratransit vehicle available if needed for residents requiring special transit services. For more information visit them online at or call our customer care Rideline at (504) 248-3900.


Other City Services

Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans has dispatched several crews to New Orleans East to assess tornado-related damages to homes and businesses. Currently, all sewerage pumps are up and operating. This power outage had no effect on the Carrollton Water Plant, which supplies the city's tap water. The city's water is safe to drink.


Entergy, Parks and Parkways and the Sanitation Department have focused efforts on reopening Chef Menteur Highway so residents can regain access to the main thoroughfare. See below for currently cleared roads:

  • Cleared: Crowder between Dwyer and Chef
  • Cleared: Dwyer between Read and Chantilly
  • Cleared: Grant between Wilson and Flake
  • Cleared: Chef between Crowder and Read
  • Cleared: Wilson between Chef and Dwyer
  • Cleared: Bullard between Chef and Dwyer
  • Cleared: Lake Forest between Chef and Read
  • Cleared: Hammond Hwy. between Read and Bundy
  • Cleared: Wright between Chef and Lake Forest
  • Cleared: Bullard between Chef and Lake Forest

Clean Up

The City of New Orleans Department of Sanitation activated the emergency debris removal process in the area bounded by Almonaster to the I-10 in New Orleans East. Eligible debris should be moved to the curb as soon as possible. Only debris resulting from the recent tornado is eligible for collection by the City or its contractors in addition to normal garbage and recycling. 


Debris should be separated as follows: regular garbage, vegetative, white goods, construction debris and household hazardous waste. It would be very helpful, if clear or green bags were used for vegetative debris to distinguish it from other garbage.


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 roadways. 


Citizens do not have to cut and bundle branches in 4 feet lengths during this designated debris removal period. Leaves should be bagged.


The Sanitation Department will systematically remove debris from each street. There is no need to call 311 to report debris piles in the designated area. Sanitation will make three passes for debris removal.


Collection timelines will take 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 and garbage out on the first day of each pass.


The Department of Parks and Parkways has forestry crews cutting and stacking downed trees in the impacted area. Calls for downed trees, street lights, street signs and other matters should be directed to 311.


Short-Term and Long-Term Housing

Service providers will be on site at Joe Brown Park to take initial assessments for short-term and long-term housing needs. The following partners are offering additional services:

  • Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) - Assisting existing voucher holders find replacement housing.
  • Southeast Louisiana Legal - Providing assessments for any legal services needed.
  • Desire Community Housing Corporation - Counseling for Homeowners.
  • Veterans Affairs - Providing short-term and long-term assistance for Veterans.
  • Total Community Action - Assessments to determine eligibility for assistance.

Volunteers & Donations

The City of New Orleans is working with several local, national, non-profit and faith based organizations to coordinate volunteer opportunities to assist with recovery efforts. We will continue to update the public with information as it becomes available. Please check for updates regarding volunteering and donating opportunities. Residents looking to donate to ongoing relief & recovery efforts are encouraged to contact one of the organizations below. Again, the shelter at Joe Brown Park is NOT able to accept food, clothing, other donations or volunteers at this time.


To Donate:

Household of Faith - Household of Faith is serving as a drop-off location

and distribution station.

Accepting: Clothing, toiletries and nonperishable items
Where to donate: 9300 1-10 Service Road, New Orleans, La. 70127 (504-347-0127)

Second Harvest - Second Harvest Food Bank will deliver 600 emergency meals

to HOPE the Food Pantry in New Orleans East, which has ceased daily

meal preparation as a result of tornado-caused power outage.
Accepting: Non-perishable food items such as canned vegetables, canned 

fruit, canned meat, soups, stews, beans, chili, peanut butter, pasta, rice, 

breakfast cereal and shelf-stable milk. For a full list of suggested donation

items visit
Where to donate: 700 Edwards Ave. in the Elmwood Warehouse District 

When: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday
To make a monetary donation visit

New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans Tornado Relief Efforts

Working with The United Way, The American Red Cross and The Second 

Harvest Food Bank,the Saints and Pelicans have established a collection 

point for the public to drop off non-perishable food items and other 

tornado-related items of need.
Accepting: Non-perishable food items. There is also an immediate need 

for towels, blankets, toiletries and clothing, according to the Red Cross.
Where to donate: Saints Practice Facility Lobby Museum, 5800 Airline

Dr., Metairie, LA 70003
When: Thursday, Feb. 9 until 5:30 p.m.                                                                     

City Church New Orleans
Accepting: Donations and volunteers and will be providing commodities, 

emergency supplies, hot meals, clean-up help and grief counseling.
Accepting: Monetary donations and physical items including bottled water, 

non-perishable foods, toiletries, flashlights, batteries, baby wipes, band 

aids, peroxide, ointment, aspirin and basic first aid items. They are not 

accepting clothing.
Where to donate: Make a financial contribution at 

or by calling 504-246-5121. Volunteer or bring items by coming to the

 church (13123 I-10 Service Road).

St. Bernard Project (SBP)
Accepting: To make a monetary donation to SBP's Louisiana Tornado

Recovery Fund, visit


Proceeds will fund SBP's initial damage assessment and begin 

rebuilding work for those most in need.

ReNEW Schools - ReNEW Schools saw its Schaumberg Elementary 

campus damaged by the tornado.
Accepting: Monetary donations to support its students and families 

are accepted at

District B Council Office, Broadmoor Improvement Association 


These three groups are partnering to provide needed supplies to 

affected individuals. They are collecting needed items in Broadmoor, 

and then transporting the collected supplies to VAYLA's headquarters, 

where they will be distributed.
Accepting: Clean clothes, shoes, socks, children's clothes, baby clothes,

diapers, new toiletries, linens/towels, new underwear, cleaning supplies

& detergent, flashlights, durable cleanup gloves, plastic tarps, 

non-perishable bulk food (no-power friendly), feminine hygiene products, 

pet food and pet shampoo.
Where to donate: Broadmoor Arts & Wellness Center 

(3900 General Taylor St.) (504-249-5130)
When: Through Friday, Feb. 10 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.;

Saturday, Feb. 11  from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
To make a monetary donation to VAYLA's rebuilding and construction


Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF)
Accepting: To make a monetary donation to the GNOF's Helping Our 

Neighbors:Tornado Relief Fund, click here:

United Way of Southeast Louisiana
Accepting: Monetary donations & seeking volunteers. More information

can be found at:

The Food Pantry of New Orleans
Accepting: Donations of non-perishable food items from the

general public. Drop-off at 13040 I-10 Service Road, New Orleans, 

LA 70128.

American Red Cross
Accepting: To make monetary donations to the American Red Cross 

Disaster Relief Fund, visit, or call 

1-800-REDCROSS. Financial gifts may also be sent to your local Red 

Cross chapter. For more updates, follow the Louisiana Region of the

American Red Cross on Twitter at @ARCLousiana. You can also 

contact the region at or call 1-800-256-4733.



Citizens are encouraged to sign up for email and text message alerts 

by going to 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.


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