City Provides Zeta Updates

Tropical Weather
AP photo - Rebecca Santana

NEW ORLEANS — Today, the City of New Orleans provided an update on Election Day polling sites, phased-approach for clean-up, recovery efforts and resources following Hurricane Zeta.

Approximately 2,000 tarps were distributed at seven sites on Saturday, in partnership with the City of New Orleans, New Orleans City Council, and Louisiana National Guard.

City agencies continue to conduct damage assessments of City facilities. Thus far, 40 City-owned properties have been found to have minor damage. The Department of Safety and Permits continues to conduct damage assessments of residential and commercial properties. To date, seven structures have been deemed to be within imminent danger of collapse. Minor damage to structures and roofs have also been reported.

“Our administration has worked closely with Entergy to close the gap created by the Louisiana Secretary of State, and to ensure that every voice will be heard this Tuesday,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “While neither the City of New Orleans nor Entergy are responsible for elections in the State of Louisiana, we have worked together to ensure that generators will be in place for all polling locations that will not have power restored by Election Day. We are grateful for Entergy’s work and their dedication. The City of New Orleans cannot and will not allow the voters of Orleans Parish to be disenfranchised.”

Polling Sites

Plans to provide and operate generators at all polling locations without power on Election Day have been finalized.

Entergy New Orleans now estimates that three polling locations in Orleans Parish may continue to be without power on Election Day, down from 11 estimated earlier this morning. The Governor’s Office and Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, together with the Secretary of State’s Office, will provide portable generators and lighting for two of the three locations, with Entergy New Orleans providing an additional generator to support the third site due to its size. Additionally, at the request of Mayor Cantrell and the City of New Orleans, Entergy has agreed to transport and operate the State-provided generators at the two other sites. The polling locations anticipated to require backup power are:

  • Mt. Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church, 3756 Louisa St. (3 precincts)
  • Blessed Seelos Parish Hall, 3024 Burgundy St. (1 precinct)
  • St. David Catholic Church Parish Hall, 5617 St. Claude Ave. (4 precincts)

Mayor Cantrell and the City of New Orleans are working closely with the Clerk of Criminal District Court and remain committed to doing everything in their power to ensure New Orleans residents are able to cast their votes on Tuesday. At this time, all polling places in Orleans Parish are expected to be operational in their original locations.

Power Outages

As of this afternoon there were approximately 28,000 power outages reported for Orleans Parish. 85% of Orleans Parish households affected by Hurricane Zeta have had their power restored. Entergy New Orleans is working as efficiently as possible to restore lost power.

The City encourages all residents to stay safe during power outages with the following tips. Stay away from downed power lines and report immediately to Entergy at 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749). Do not touch downed trees or power lines as wires may be energized. Treat every intersection with traffic lights out as a four-way stop and operate generators safely.

Meal and Food Distribution

Local non-profit and community organizations are offering meals and groceries to residents who need food assistance this week. See a list of distribution events at ready.nola.gov

 Oxygen Exchange Sites

The New Orleans Health Department and the Louisiana Department of Health are working with residents who are power dependent for medical reasons. As part of this initiative, the City is operating three Oxygen Exchange sites across the city, where residents who are on oxygen can swap out an empty tank for a full tank, free of charge. The following locations will continue to be open daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.:

  • New Orleans Fire Station 1, 2920 Magazine St.
  • New Orleans Fire Station 27, 2118 Elysian Fields Ave.
  • New Orleans Fire Station 40, 2500 General DeGaulle Dr. 

If you need oxygen and cannot get to any of these sites, call the Special Needs Registry at 504-658-2558.

 Security

Due to power restoration, the Louisiana National Guard is no longer providing overnight security at critical infrastructure sites and local businesses.

Damaged Homes and Businesses 

There have been some reports of structural damage to homes and businesses. Those with damage are asked to report information and photos to the State of Louisiana online survey at damage.la.gov. That information will help local, state, and federal officials understand the level of damage in Orleans Parish. Completion of this survey is not an application for or guarantee of assistance, nor does it initiate a claim to your insurance provider. Contact information will be used to provide information on resources available as well as how to apply for any assistance that may be available.

Volunteer organizations are offering assistance to residents whose homes were damaged. If you would like to request assistance with damage from Hurricane Zeta, please call the Crisis Clean Up Hotline at (504) 350-0788. They will connect you with volunteers from local organizations who can assist with fallen trees, tarping roofs, and debris removal. All services are free. Assistance is not guaranteed and depends on the volume of requests. The hotline will remain operational through Nov. 13.

Roadway Clearing

The Departments of Parks and Parkways, Sanitation, Public Works, and Mosquito, Termite, and Rodent Control Board are working together with Entergy to clear debris from roadways, prioritizing major thoroughfares. There have been more than 658 service calls for tree emergencies and nearly 70 intersections with temporary stop signs due to traffic light outages.

Residents are reminded to stay off the roads as much as possible, to use extreme caution around debris and treat intersections with lights out as four-way stops. Public safety is our priority; to report downed trees or limbs in the public right-of-way to 311.

The Department of Safety and Permits (DSP) is advising all construction projects to survey the construction site for any damage from the tropical weather activity experienced recently.

  • Remove construction debris from the perimeter of the building. This includes smaller items such as tools to larger items such as dumpsters, portable bathrooms and event equipment.
  • Secure steel frames, metal decks, planks and plywood to supportive structures.
  • Assess damage which may require shoring and bracing for areas under construction or demolition.
  • Examine electrical equipment for exposure to the weather before restoring use.
  • Secure netting, scaffolding and sidewalk sheds.
  • Safety test crane operators and crane equipment.
  • Examine hoist operations and secure exterior hoists before returning to use.
  • Inspect and secure construction fences and check that silt fences remain properly buried and staked.
  • Grade or secure dirt stock piles.
  • Clear all storm drains or inlet filters on or near the construction site.

DSP asks that any storm drains near job sites are free of any debris and that any potential wind-or water-borne materials or debris are removed from the job site or secured.

If any additional information is needed, please do not hesitate to contact us at 504-658-7100, 504-658-7200  or permitinfo@nola.gov.

The RTA is running all fixed route bus services and streetcar lines. Some routes are still on detours due to power lines, downed trees and signals; however service is operating. For more information call Rideline at 504-248-3900.

Debris Removal

The City of New Orleans is conducting a phased approach for cleanup and recovery efforts following Hurricane Zeta. Phase One consists of regular trash and recycling collection, which can include up to six bags of leaves and six bundles of branches on the second collection day. Phase Two is ongoing by multiple City and State agencies and consists of clearing streets, parks, and playgrounds. Phase Three will begin Friday, Nov. 6 and will consist of emergency debris removal by City contractors. Residents should arrange debris for Phase 3 collection in the following categories: storm debris (shingles, drywall, pipes, etc.), vegetative debris (logs, limbs, leaves), and household appliances. For more information, visit ready.nola.gov/recovery/#debris.

As we near the end of hurricane season please use these guidelines when disposing of your sandbags:

Please Do: 

  1. Spread sand over lawns and landscape beds. 
  2. Recycle the bag after emptying. 
  3. Save clean sandbags in a covered and dry location for future use. 
  4. Prevent broken sandbags from eroding into waterways or storm sewers. 

Please Do Not: 

  1. Dispose of loose sand or bags of sand in the trash bins.
  2. Mix sandbags with yard debris.
  3. Dump sand into any waterway or place sand down storm drains. It will flow to the lake.
  4. Use sand that has been exposed to flood water in playgrounds, sand boxes or other areas of human contact. This sand has likely been exposed to harmful bacteria in floodwaters. 

Unscrupulous Contractors

The City of New Orleans warns residents to be mindful of debris removal scams and unscrupulous and unlicensed contractors posing to work for the City. Please be advised that neither the City nor its contractors charge for work done on public trees or to remove debris on the public right of way, which includes the area between the sidewalk and the curb. Before contracting for work on their private property, homeowners should:

  • Obtain three bids from various licensed and insured contractors before making a decision.
  • Never sign over checks from insurance companies to a contractor or tell a contractor the value of their insurance policy.
  • Never allow a contractor to pressure them into making a quick decision.
  • Obtain a detailed work plan of what will be done, materials to be used, who pays for materials, timeline to start and complete the project, schedule of payments based on pre-set progress stages.

NOLA Public Schools

NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS) announced the cancellation of all distance learning and in-person classes for Monday, Nov. 2, due to ongoing power outages across New Orleans, loss of food due to lack of refrigeration, as well as unstable internet and phone service. This decision includes the cancellation of food services for families on Monday as well. The NOLA-PS team will consider the progress of Entergy and Cox to restore power and the needs of our school community to guide the appropriate timeline for a concerted return to in-person and distance learning for students at all grade levels. Schools and families can expect an update Monday, Nov. 2, regarding the plan for classes this coming week.

 Municipal and Traffic Court

The Municipal and Traffic Court of New Orleans will reopen on Monday, Nov.2, 2020 for normal operations.  Anyone who had a scheduled matter during the closure can report at the same time and division on your notice for a new court date.  If you have any questions, please call 504-658-8500.

Visit ready.nola.gov for updated information on Hurricane Zeta response.

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