City Adds 4th Debris Pass, Provides New Orleans East Tornado Recovery Update

NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans announced it will add a fourth debris pass for residential properties from Thursday, March 2 to Sunday, March 5 in the New Orleans East tornado recovery effort. This will allow residents additional time to complete clearing debris from their properties, city reps said. 

         On Monday, Feb. 13, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened a disaster recovery center at East New Orleans Public Library, 5641 Read Blvd., 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.

         On Tuesday, Feb. 21 Mayor Mitch Landrieu held a town hall meeting for the almost 200 residents impacted by the tornado to provide additional information and resources. Below are services offered and efforts the city and its partners have undertaken since the tornado touchdown. Residents are urged to monitor for up-to-date information.


FEMA Assistance

         FEMA is on the ground and going door-to-door in the impacted area registering individuals for federal assistance.

         Residents 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, residents must first register with FEMA, even if you have registered with another disaster-relief organization. Residents must use the name that appears on your Social Security card on your registration. Residents 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:

• Apply online at

• Call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-3362.


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, city reps said. 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 Hours and Services 

         The disaster recovery center is located at East New Orleans Public Library, 5641 Read Blvd., and is open 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday until March 3. Beginning March 4, the Disaster Recovery Center will have new hours and will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and will be closed on Sundays.

         FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and volunteer groups are at the disaster recovery center to answer questions about disaster assistance and low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters and businesses. They can also help survivors apply for federal disaster assistance, check on application status and answer questions on any denials.



         The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has restored service to New Orleans East. All bus lines are on regular route.


Clean Up

         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. At the conclusion of three passes, almost 12,000 tons of debris has been cleared from the impacted area.



         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. In order to allow residents additional time to complete clearing debris from their properties, the final pass will start on Thursday, Mar. 2 and end on Sunday, Mar. 5 for residential properties.

         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.

         Crews from the Departments of the Sanitation, Parks and Parkways and Public Works will 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.


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