public safety weather

It’s hurricane prep time again in New Orleans

For the seventh time this year, New Orleans is in the path of a tropical system.

The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for New Orleans on Tuesday morning, as Hurricane Zeta headed north from the Yucatan Peninsular with a late-Wednesday landfall predicted for southeastern Louisiana. City officials are urging residents to prepare today for a hurricane.

To help with that prep, the city is distributing sandbags this morning. District B Councilman Jay Banks announced free sandbag distribution for New Orleans residents at Dryades YMCA, 2220 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., from 8 a.m. until supplies run out. Participants must enter through Jackson Avenue, at the YMCA parking lot. And don’t forget your mask.

Other sandbag distribution sites: Arthur Monday Center, 1111 Newton St.; Saint Maria Goretti Church, 7300 Crowder Blvd.; and NOFD Engine 8, Desire and Law Streets.

Strong winds are a potential threat with Zeta, the Hurricane Center warns, so secure or bring in Halloween decorations as well as outdoor furniture and other items that could become projectiles.

Residents are encouraged to gather emergency supplies, including food, water and medications, for at least three days. Those who might need extra help during a storm due to age, ability or medical needs should sign up for the city’s Special Needs Registry. To register, call 311 or go to specialneeds.nola.gov.

The city will also provide text updates to residents. To sign up, text ZETA to 888777 (subscribers who received texts for Delta, Beta, Sally, Laura, Marco or Cristobal will automatically be subscribed).

If you’re interested in getting involved with the response to Zeta, please remain on standby for upcoming volunteer opportunities. The city is making preparations, including planning to set up a hurricane call center and an emergency storm shelter for vulnerable residents.

Interested in getting involved with shelter operations? Click here to take Intro to Sheltering (STR 100), an e-learning course, to get caught up on how to help run a shelter. If you need an account to take the course, create one here, and then click on the course link.

City services

Early voting will continue as scheduled, with the final day being today, Oct. 27, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at multiple sites in Orleans Parish. Drive-thru ballot drop-off at City Hall is scheduled to begin Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for those who registered to vote by mail. The Registrar of Voters will notify the public if schedule changes are warranted due to the storm.

Trash and recycling collection will continue as scheduled; however, cancellations may be necessary as the storm nears.

The COVID-19 Meal Assistance Program will continue regularly scheduled deliveries and has contingency plans should weather impacts require schedule changes.

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing at UNO, Mahalia Jackson Theater, Edna Karr High School, and the Living School has been cancelled Tuesday and Wednesday as the Louisiana National Guard prepares to respond to storm impacts. Testing schedules will be updated at ready.nola.gov/mobile-testing.

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority will maintain service across all modes as long as weather conditions allow to do safely. For the latest information on storm impacts, visit www.RTAforward.org, call the Rideline at 504-248-3900 or follow @NewOrleansRTA on social media.

Storm preparation

The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans announced that all 99 drainage pumps are available for service. Regarding power, Turbines 1,3, and 6 are available as well as the five Electro-Motive Diesel generators and all frequency changers.

Turbine 3 is designated for emergency use only. Turbine 4 tripped recently and is currently under repair. It will likely not be available for this weather event. This means that areas that normally flood could take longer to drain, depending on rain intensity. Follow @SWBNewOrleans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates throughout the event.

Entergy New Orleans  will move equipment from low-lying areas that could see high water to higher ground and ensure flood protections are in place. High-water vehicles and drones are being secured should they be needed during any restoration efforts. For the safety of crews and customers, please stay away from work zones.

If there is a need to report a service problem, customers should call 1-800-ENTERGY. Entergy’s View Outages website includes maps that show where outages are located and give information about restoration progress. To stay updated throughout the event, download the Entergy App at entergyapp.com. Customers also can use the app to report outages or check on the status of power at their home or business.

Sign up for text messages by texting REG to 36778 and have your account number and ZIP code handy. The registration pattern is as follows including spaces: REG (account number) (ZIP code). Once registered, text OUT to 36778 to report an outage. You can also report an outage online as a guest.

 

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