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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

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Mayor Landrieu declares state of emergency as city prepares for Tropical Storm Karen

October 04, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA— Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu outlined storm preparation for Tropical Storm Karen, which according to the National Weather Service is expected to make landfall Saturday as a Tropical Storm.

Mayor Landrieu has declared a state of emergency and mobilized City departments and partner agencies to prepare for a severe weather. New Orleans is currently under a Tropical Storm Watch.

“We have a plan in place to secure the city and we are taking all necessary precautions to prepare for Tropical Storm Karen,” Mayor Landrieu said. “Now is the time to prepare for whatever may come our way. As we all have learned, these storms can be unpredictable so we must continue to stay alert and ready to adjust as the situation develops.”

In advance of the weather, the City is asking residents to take the following precautions:

  • Prepare to shelter in place with food, water, and medications needed in the event of loss of water and/ or power.
  • Clean or clear gutters and catch basins near your home.
  • Bring in or secure any loose objects outside.
  • Check on your neighbors and the elderly to make sure they are prepared.
  • Regular trash pickup will occur Saturday. Once trash is picked up, residents should secure trash cans.
  • Board up your windows or hatch down shutters.

Mayor Landrieu strongly encouraged residents who live outside the city’s levee protection system or in low-lying areas – including Venetian Isles, Fort Pike, Irish Bayou, and Lake Catherine – to be prepared for elevated tidal surge and impassable roadways.

Watch video from Mayor Landrieu’s Press Conference

NOLA 311
NOLA 311 will be operating extended hours throughout the event. NOLA 311 will remain operational until Friday midnight and resume operations at 6:00 a.m. Saturday, October 5 and remain operating 24 hours a day until further notice.

Residents are encouraged to call NOLA 311 for general information and to report non-life threatening emergencies such as:

  • Storm preparation information
  • Sidewalk and road problems
  • Debris

Residents should call 911 ONLY for life-threatening emergencies.

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) has activated its hurricane preparedness plan, and is fully ready to protect people and property across the city.

The NOPD will ticket motorists who drive faster than 5 mph on streets with standing water. Barricades will be positioned and will be deployed in flooded areas.

A list of streets prone to significant flooding during severe weather is available at

The New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) is fully staffed and prepared to respond to emergencies involving fire, water or hazardous materials. Additionally, the NOFD Urban Search and Rescue team is on standby in the event that it is needed. NOFD encourages residents to practice generator safety by operating them only in well-ventilated areas, away from doors, windows and vent openings. The NOFD also urges residents to use candles and kerosene lamps safely and never leave them unattended.

The following shelters will be available for homeless persons on Friday, October 5:

  • New Orleans Mission, 1130 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, (adults only: ages 18 and over) 504-270-4967.
  • Ozanam Inn, 843 Camp St., (males only) 504-523-1184.
  • Covenant House, 611 N. Rampart St., (males and females ages 16-21 and females of any age with children) 504-523-1111.
  • Bethel Community Ministries, 4114 Old Gentilly Rd, (women with children) 504-943-0456.

At this time, RTA will continue to provide regular transit services to its riders. Streetcar service will be replaced with buses once sustained winds reach 25 mph.

Regular trash pickups will occur on Saturday. Once trash is picked up on Saturday, residents should secure all trash bins. Sanitation trucks will not traverse down streets with standing water.

All 24 sewerage and water board drainage pump stations are 100% operational. Backup generators at the Sewerage and Water Board facilities are on site and available as needed.

The City is allowing residents to secure their vehicles on the neutral ground throughout the weather event. Residents should not park under trees, on tree roots, on levees, or on street car tracks. Any vehicles parked on the levees or streetcar lines will be towed.

According to Entergy, it has activated its emergency response center, pre-staged all equipment and activated mutual assistance agreements with other agencies. Customers are encouraged to go to to sign up for text messages. Residents may call 1-800-9OUTAGE to report outages or downed power lines.

The Department of Public Works has contractors and staff on standby for road repair and debris removal. Catch basin trucks are out cleaning catch basins. City project construction sites are being secured in preparation for severe weather.

New Orleans Public Library locations will be open Saturday, October 5.

NORDC recreation centers will be closed on Saturday, October 5.

NORDC tennis centers and aquatics facilities will be closed on Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6.

NORDC Movies in the Park event scheduled for Friday, October 4 at Stallings Playground is cancelled.

NORDC little league football games scheduled for Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5 are cancelled.

NOLA FOR LIFE Midnight Basketball scheduled for Saturday, October 5 at Tremé Center is cancelled.

The New Orleans International Airport is completely operational at this time and is in constant communication with airlines. Travelers are encouraged to check individual airlines websites for latest information on delays and cancelations.

New Orleans hotels remain open. City officials are in contact with hotels and conventions in town in order to ensure safety of New Orleans visitors as well as New Orleans residents. The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau provide hospitality industry updates on their webpage at

According to Emergency Preparedness officials, families should build an emergency supply kit at home that includes:

  • Water (one gallon per person, per day for at least 3 days)
  • Non-perishable food (three-day supply for evacuation)
  • Non-electric can opener for food
  • Radio (battery-powered or hand crank)
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • First aid kit (medications and medical supplies, seven-day supply)
  • Whistle
  • Dust masks
  • Sanitation items
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Maps
  • Important family documents

Citizens are encouraged to sign up for email and text message alerts by going to 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.


  • For life threatening emergencies, call 911
  • To report a non-life threatening problem or to get information, call 311
  • Report standing water in streets or downed traffic signals, 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
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Last updated: 5/18/2016 2:20:43 PM

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