City Issues Updates On Precautions In Advance Of Hurricane Harvey
NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Landrieu, along with city officials, provided an update on precautions in advance of Hurricane Harvey as the city continues to monitor the system, located in the Gulf of Mexico. After making landfall in Texas on Friday, the storm will slow down considerably and make its way east over parts of Louisiana.
While still uncertain, the latest forecast shows Harvey strengthening by Friday and producing heavy rainfall and potential flooding affecting New Orleans starting late Sunday and lasting through the week. The current forecast indicates 5-10 inches of rain for the duration of the hurricane for New Orleans, with heaviest rain most likely beginning Sunday and through mid-week. If the rain bands stall, New Orleans could see considerably more rain from this hurricane, city reps said. Any changes in track and intensity could change the impacts for the area, so residents are advised to stay tuned to NOLA Ready and the National Weather Service for updates.
As always during hurricane season, residents are reminded to make a plan in case they lose power, and prepare to have at least three days’ worth of supplies, including water, food and medications.
Update on Drainage System
Sewerage and Water Board (S&WB) and its contractors continue to work around the clock to repair all power and pumps. Yesterday, contractors completed repairs to another large drainage pump at Drainage Pump Station No. 6, which brings the total to four large pumps returned to service since Aug. 6. Earlier this week, crews took one pump offline at Drainage Pump Station No. 11 to conduct scheduled repair services. At this time, 106 of the 120 pumps are available to be operational in the event of heavy rainfall.
Additionally, S&WB has brought one turbine back online and secured and mobilized 26 backup generators. The city has also secured contractors to provide additional manpower so that in the event of an incident, all stations will be properly manned. While the drainage capacity has improved since the August 5 flooding, the city’s drainage and pumping system remains in a state of diminished drainage pumping capacity until all turbines and pumps are fully restored.
On Aug. 17, the City of New Orleans presented an approximately $26 million plan from Mayor Landrieu to clean and fix thousands of catch basins, provide an early warning system for underpass flooding and conduct a comprehensive analysis of the problems that led up to the July 22 and Aug. 5 floods.
S&WB has posted a status update of the pumps on its website. In response to recent rain events on July 22 and Aug. 5, S&WB has provided to the public Drainage Pumping Station Logs and the Central Control Log Book
City Working with Local, State and Federal Partners on Preparations
The city continues to work with local, federal and state partners such as FEMA, GOHSEP, LANG, Army Corps of Engineers on understanding the current risks, vulnerabilities, and how the city can keep residents safe, city reps said.
Last week, Mayor Landrieu led a table top exercise with emergency personnel to ensure the city is closely monitoring all weather systems that could produce serious rain and to update our emergency plans. On Tuesday, Aug. 22, Mayor Landrieu joined Governor John Bel Edwards in a meeting with FEMA Administrator Brock Long. The Mayor requested in that meeting that FEMA pre-position as many assets as possible on the ground in New Orleans in the event of a serious weather event. This type of coordination is standard for emergency teams during hurricane season.
Additionally, Mayor Landrieu participated in a third briefing this morning with the National Weather Service and city officials on Hurricane Harvey.
Extended Hours for Catch Basin Cleanings
The Department of Public Works (DPW) increased its manpower to clean and unclog catch basins and flush drain lines seven days a week and added two additional hours to each day. Four vacuum trucks are in service currently. Since Aug. 6, DPW has cleaned more than 850 catch basins and more than 68,000 linear feet of drain lines.
DPW has received bids for contractors to conduct an additional $7 million in catch basin cleanings, and expects to award the contract by the end of the week. Additionally, DPW has requested bids for $14 million in drainage point repairs. Those bids are due Friday, Aug. 25.
In advance of heavy rainfall, remove leaves, grass and other visible debris in front of catch basin openings and nearby, and place lawn clippings in garbage cans and never blow or sweep them down a catch basin. To reduce risk of street flooding, do not park in front of or on a catch basin. Call 311 to report catch basins that are not fully functioning. Avoid lifting a catch basin lid or inserting anything into a catch basin.
Read the Just Rain Down the Drain guide here
Extended Hours for 311
Residents are encouraged to call 311 for general information and to report non-life threatening emergencies. 311 will be open Friday, Aug. 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and every following day from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. beginning Saturday, Aug. 26 until further notice.
Sign up for Special Needs Registry
The city is also encouraging individuals who require special assistance during emergencies to enroll in its Special Needs Registry. The registry does not guarantee assistance, but allows first responders to appropriately plan for, prepare for and respond to community needs. The Special Needs Registry includes all individuals, regardless of age, with a chronic condition, disability, special healthcare need, or who may require additional assistance during an emergency. These include those who:
• Use life support systems such as oxygen, respirator, ventilator, dialysis, pacemaker, or are insulin dependent;
• Have mobility disabilities and use a wheelchair, scooter, walker, cane, or other mobility device;
• Are visually impaired, blind, hard of hearing, or deaf;
• Have speech, cognitive, developmental or mental health disabilities; and,
• Use assistive animals or a prosthesis.
A family member, caregiver, or authorized representative can enroll an individual on their behalf. Residents may enroll in the Special Needs Registry by calling 3-1-1 or enroll here.
The city advises residents to look for updates regularly posted here
Additionally, sign up for NOLA Ready alerts here, which will notify residents of emergency situations