NEW ORLEANS, LA — This afternoon, the City of New Orleans provided a status update on clean-up and recovery efforts following Hurricane Isaac. Mayor Mitch Landrieu acknowledged citizens’ growing frustration as widespread power outages continue across the city. The City also announced the opening of two cooling shelters and three additional Point of Distribution (PODs) sites to aid citizens until power is restored.
“Our city is feeling the stress and strain of being without power. I’m frustrated too,” Mayor Landrieu said. “This is more than an inconvenience. It is a very dangerous situation for the elderly and people with special needs. It stops commerce; it keeps our kids out of the classroom and completely disrupts our way of life.”
“While the majority of New Orleans is living without power, our friends in Lake Catherine, Irish Bayou, Fort Pike and Venetian Isles are experiencing the impacts of what for them was a Katrina-like storm,” Mayor Landrieu said. “We’re working aggressively to provide these communities with critical assistance they need.”
The Mayor also urged residents to continue to exercise an abundance of caution as crews continue clearing debris from the streets and repairing traffic signals throughout the city. Residents are asked to treat intersections with non-functioning traffic signals as a four-way stop and use an abundance of caution while driving. The NOPD will be out in full force throughout the event to enforce the law.
The City’s Emergency Operations Center, which has operated around the clock since Monday, is continuing to coordinate emergency and recovery efforts. The City’s 311 hotline is also operating around the clock for residents seeking information and for residents to report street flooding, tree and sanitation issues, malfunctioning traffic signals or other issues of concern.
An emergency declaration has been declared that includes Orleans Parish for public assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures. Orleans Parish residents are also now eligible for FEMA individual assistance. For home insurance purposes, the City encourages citizens to closely track their recovery costs and activities by taking pictures and keeping all receipts and other documents.
EMERGENCY COOLING SHELTERS
Starting today, the City is offering two emergency cooling shelters. Space is limited, so residents are asked to reserve space for those with the most critical needs, including the elderly, those with illnesses exacerbated by the heat, residents with children and residents with damage to their homes.
West Bank – Berhman Recreation Center, 2529 General Meyers Ave., in Algiers
East Bank – St. Bernard Center, 1500 Lafreniere St., in Gentilly
All persons should bring the following with them.
Bedding, to include air mattress, blankets, pillows
Baby/ Children’s supplies
Meals, if on a special diet
Drugs, Alcohol, Weapons, and Pets are not allowed in shelters.
Individuals who are electricity dependent or have medical needs and cannot care for themselves are asked to call 658-2500 to register for a separate medical special needs shelter in New Orleans.
RECOVERY SUPPLIES- POINT OF DISTRIBUTION SITES
The Louisiana National Guard will have three additional Points of Distribution (POD) sites in the city where citizens can pick up critical supplies.
The three new locations are:
The Municipal Auditorium at 1451 Basin Street (Opens today)- NOTE: line up on Basin Street;
Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park at 5120 Marconi Drive (Opens today); and
Old Engine 31 in Venetian Isles at 4300 Alba Road (Opening Sunday).
The three previously opened POD sites are:
5501 Read Blvd in New Orleans East near the intersection of Read and Lake Forest Blvd;
2730 Vespasian Blvd on the West Bank; and
700 Poland Avenue, the Port of Embarkation in the Bywater – NOTE: line up along Chartres Street.
POD sites are open 6 am to 8 pm, or while daylight allows, until further notice. Sites will distribute water, ice, ready-to-eat meals (MREs) and tarps.
Individuals who drive up MUST remain in their vehicles to expedite the process. People without cars will be allowed to walk up to POD sites in a pedestrian lane.
FEMA INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE
Orleans Parish residents are now eligible to apply for FEMA individual assistance.
The FEMA Individual Assistance (IA) program provides homeowners, renters and business owners in disaster-designated parishes -who sustained uninsured or underinsured related damage to their homes, vehicles, personal property, business or its inventory- money and services, when losses are not covered by insurance, and property has been damaged or destroyed. Upon declaration of the IA program, the registration process for assistance is initiated.
There are several ways to apply for disaster assistance. Residents can apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362. Those with speech or hearing impairments should call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Users of 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 1-800-621-3362.
Following the initial application, an inspector will call to schedule an appointment to visit your property.
As of this morning, Entergy is reporting that 106,000 households, or about 55% of customers, are without power in Orleans Parish. Entergy has said that it estimates that 70% of Orleans Parish customers will have power by Monday and 90% of residents will have power restored by Wednesday.
All hospitals are at normal capacity and are beginning outpatient service. Contact your doctor to find out if your clinic will open.
Dialysis patients should contact their dialysis units as the majority of the centers are open and providing regular service. Dialysis patients having trouble reaching their centers can call 1-800-472-8664.
MEDICAL SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTER
The City has set up a medical special needs shelter for people who have high-risk medical conditions. Please call 504-658-2500 for more information and to get registered. Citizens who have already registered do not need to call again.
NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT
The New Orleans Police Department continues to be out in full force. Effective anti-looting patrols, augmented by 1,200 Louisiana National Guard soldiers, have been in place in every district. For the second night in a row, there were no new cases of looting overnight.
NEW ORLEANS FIRE DEPARTMENT
NOFD is all-hands-on deck. In the last 24 hours, firefighters responded to four one-alarm fires, including an overnight house fire caused by improper refueling of a generator. Residents are urged to follow all safety precautions when using generators. They should be used only in well-ventilated locations away from all doors, windows and vent openings. Generators should never be refueled while running. NOFD also urges residents to be careful with candles and keep them away from curtains and anything that can catch fire.
RTA is running 94 percent of its normally scheduled routes as of Saturday. Bus service continues to run from 6am to 7:30pm. Streetcar service remains closed as crews continue to clear debris from routes. An updated list of operating bus lines can be found at http://ready.nola.gov.
City Hall will be reopened on Tuesday, September 4
City libraries: The Main Library resumed normal business hours on Friday. The Martin Luther King Jr. and Central City libraries will follow the schedules of the schools in which they are located, and remain closed until Tuesday, September 4th. Other NOPL locations will reopen when power is restored.
Public, Catholic and private schools will resume on Tuesday, September 4
Colleges and universities will resume on Tuesday, September 4
Numerous grocery stores, home repair stores, gas stations and restaurants have reopened.
Parking enforcement will resume as per normal regulations and posted signage in the French Quarter and Central Business District beginning Saturday, September 1.
ALL vehicles not removed from neutral grounds yesterday have been towed.
Citizens are encouraged to sign up for email and text message alerts by going to ready.nola.gov. This service allows city officials to contact citizens during emergencies, which includes life-threatening weather events, evacuation or shelter in place information, and other pertinent emergency information. In addition to the website, the City operates a twitter handle: @nolaready.
IMPORTANT NUMBERS TO KNOW
For life threatening emergencies, call 911
To report a non-life threatening problem or to get information, call 311
Non-life threatening crime, call 504-821-2222
Sewerage and Water Boards 24/7 line, call 504-529-2837
To report power outages, call 1-800-968-8243 (1-800-9OUTAGE)
Report levee issues on the East Bank to Orleans Levee District Police at 504-283-9800 and on the West Bank call the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority West at 504-340-0318
For questions about insurance issues, contact the Louisiana Department of Insurance at 1-800-259-3000 or email Isaac@ldi.la.gov.
To report price gouging, contact the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-351-4889.
PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED WEEKEND EVENTS
The Southern Decadence Festival is ongoing this weekend
Tulane University’s home football game will be played at the Superdome tonight.