City of New Orleans Preparing for Tropical Weather Impacts

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July 10, 2019 

Contact: LaTonya Norton

For Media Inquiries Only
(504) 658-4962

City of New Orleans Preparing for Tropical Weather Impacts

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans continues to prepare for impacts from Potential Tropical Cyclone Two, which is expected to strengthen to a tropical storm by late Thursday. This system has the potential to impact parts of southeastern Louisiana.


“Heed every single warning that comes from the City of New Orleans. Be prepared for the impacts. This is the time to help us clear debris. We are monitoring levels of the Mississippi River. We are monitoring the potential threat of a Tropical Cyclone Two," Mayor Cantrell said. "It is still too soon to tell what the impact will be, but we believe there will be an impact. It is never too early to prepare.”


The National Weather Service expects possible impacts to include heavy rain, higher than normal tides, gusty winds, and coastal flooding. These impacts are anticipated as early as Thursday evening through Sunday. Rainfall totals are currently predicted in the eight- to 10-inch range in New Orleans through Monday, which could lead to street flooding. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect until 7 p.m., Thursday, July 11.


Due to the potential for storm surge, the National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the Mississippi River including the New Orleans area through Saturday, July 13. The river could crest at 20 feet Friday into Saturday. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority is closing flood gates along the river, all of which will be closed by Thursday evening. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for areas outside of the levee system in Orleans Parish, including Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine, and Irish Bayou.


City Hall, the New Orleans Libraries, New Orleans Recreation Development facilities, and all administrative City agencies will be closed Thursday and Friday.


Public Safety Preparations Underway

The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) is monitoring and preparing for potential impacts from this system. Two emergency declarations have been filed — one for this morning’s rain event and another for the potential impacts we may see from the tropical system.


NOHSEP will activate the City’s Emergency Operations Center through the duration of this event. Representatives from public safety, infrastructure, and human services agencies will be in the Emergency Operations Center 24/7 to monitor and respond to storm-related incidents. Additionally, The Real-Time Crime Center will continue its normal 24/7 operations and will assist in monitoring real-time weather impacts across the city.


The New Orleans Police Department and New Orleans Fire Department have pre-staged barricades in flood-prone areas to prevent drivers from entering high water. Residents are reminded to never drive through flooded areas and to call 9-1-1 to report major flooding on the road. Motorists who drive faster than 5 mph on streets with standing water are subject to fines. A map of reported street flooding is available at Additionally, NOPD will deploy high-water vehicles and boats to districts, as needed.


The Orleans Parish Communications District (OPCD) will activate Level 2 staffing at 7 p.m. Thursday evening, which will increase staffing by 50 percent, ensuring OPCD meets and maintains staffing needs during this state of emergency. OPCD facility redundancy and resiliency systems have been tested and performed as designed, as shown this morning during a brief power outage. In addition to 9-1-1 services, 311 services will continue to be available 24/7 both by phone and the Web.


The New Orleans Health Department’s primary mission is to protect the health and safety of our residents with medical and mobility needs, who should at this time prepare to shelter in place. Make sure that you have all of your medications, have charged your electric scooter, and attended any last minute dialysis appointments. Power outages are possible with this storm and people with electrically dependent medical equipment should call 311 to enroll in the Special Needs Registry. The Special Needs Call Center will open 24/7 beginning Thursday at 8 a.m. and will remain open during the duration of the event.


Infrastructure Preparations Underway

The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans is prepared for additional heavy rainfall. We are monitoring the system 24/7 and stand ready to make any staffing changes should circumstances require a heightened response. All manned pumping stations will have operators on duty throughout the event. SWBNO crews will constantly monitor all underpass pumping stations. All but two of the city’s 120 drainage and constant-duty pumps are available, including all major drainage pumps capable of pumping 1,000 cubic feet of water per second (cfs) or more.


The Department of Public Works (DPW) has and will continue to clean and unclog catch basins, as well as flush drain lines in flood-prone areas. For active construction projects, DPW is working with its contractors to ensure that they are prepared to secure their sites. Parking restrictions on neutral grounds and sidewalks have been suspended until further notice. Residents are reminded not to block intersections or streetcar tracks.


Due to street flooding this morning, DPW is removing stranded vehicles that are making some intersections impassable. Residents whose vehicles have been moved should call 3-1-1 for information on retrieval. DPW has moved over 50 vehicles today. Residents with stranded vehicles in the middle of the roadway or an intersection are expected to move their vehicles to the side of the road, preferably a parking lane, immediately.


The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) will close gates along Mississippi River in advance of the storm. SLFPA is coordinating with the Port of New Orleans and other riverfront stakeholders and will begin closing flood gates at 6 p.m. tonight.


The Department of Parks and Parkways is responding to tree emergencies and will continue to do so throughout the storm event. Additionally, the department is monitoring major corridors and parks and removing debris that could become projectiles.


The Sanitation Department will continue to remove debris on public property in coordination with other departments and agencies. Citizens are reminded to secure their garbage and recycling carts on their properties between collections or if their street starts to flood.  The public will be notified if garbage collection or curbside recycling must be suspended due to this weather event. Public information campaigns are on-going to educate residents on the debris removal process.


The Regional Transit Authority will provide service alerts to the public, via the GoMobile app, website, social media, and Ride Line at 504-248-3900. Services will be suspended if roads are impassable and will resume once they are safe.


Residents encouraged to prepare for rain and review hurricane plans

Gather emergency supplies

  • Non-perishable food for 3 days
  • 3 gallons of water per person
  • Week’s supply of prescription medications
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlight & extra batteries
  • Matches or lighter
  • First Aid Kit
  • Radio (battery operated or hand crank)
  • Books & games

Clean your property and street

  • Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts.
  • Sweep, bag, and throw away leaves and debris from in front of catch basins.
  • Call 3-1-1 to report catch basins that are not functioning.
  • Do not lift a catch basin lid or insert anything into a catch basin.

Stay connected and pay attention


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