NEW ORLEANS — Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and officials provided an update on winter weather impacting New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu urges residents and visitors to stay warm and safe during winter weather moving into the New Orleans region.
Temperatures remain frigid in New Orleans and are not expected to rise above freezing until a brief period mid-afternoon Wednesday. Temperatures will again drop tonight with a Hard Freeze Warning in effect from 5pm through 11am Thursday. Wintry precipitation moved through the area last night leaving icy conditions across the city.
“I want to thank all of our citizens and visitors who heeded our warnings and urge everyone to continue to exercise caution until the conditions of our streets, highways and bridges are safe. Given the low temperatures, we must remain vigilant and take the necessary steps to keep our families and property safe,” Mayor Landrieu said encouraging New Orleans residents to minimize travel on roadways and bridges to avoid icy and dangerous conditions.
Through the overnight hours, public safety personnel and volunteers helped to ensure homeless residents were able to get to shelters.
Yesterday, Mayor Landrieu and City officials held a press conference to advise on precautions in advance of the wintry weather.
This morning, City officials have called into multiple media outlets to provide updates to the public.
All residents and visitors should take appropriate precautions to protect themselves from the potentially dangerous effects of this weather. Residents are urged to bring pets inside and to check on neighbors and the elderly during cold weather. To report someone in need of shelter, the public can call the New Orleans Police Department non-emergency number at (504) 821-2222.
Space heaters should never be left unattended and a stove or an oven should never be used to heat the home. Residents are encouraged to check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to be sure they are working.
Water pipes can be damaged from prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Residents and property owners are encouraged to protect against damage by insulating exposed pipes, turning off water, or running a “pencil lead thin” (1/16 inch) stream of water. More information is available in the Sewerage and Water Board’s Guide to Fighting the Freeze.
With icy road conditions, residents are asked to avoid driving if possible. If it is absolutely necessary to be on the road, residents are encouraged to take extra care driving, especially on bridges and elevated roadways. The public is asked to report icy road conditions to 911.
PUBLIC SAFETY OPERATIONS
The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has activated the Emergency Operations Center and continues to monitor conditions and coordinate response throughout the winter weather event.
Public safety agencies, including the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (NOEMS), and the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) responded to over 600 calls for service overnight. Over 100 calls for service were handled by NOEMS, many of which were traffic accidents related to dangerous road conditions, including one traffic-related fatality.
Residents are urged to stay home and off the roads until conditions improve.
CITYWIDE FREEZE PLAN ACTIVATION
The Citywide Freeze Plan (CFP) remains in effect through tomorrow morning, Thursday, Jan 18, as the National Weather Service forecasts the temperature or wind chill to fall below the plan’s activation threshold of 35 degrees. The City's freeze plan will be in effect to provide temporary overnight shelter for homeless residents. The public is asked to call the New Orleans Police Department non-emergency number 504-821-2222, to report someone in need of shelter.
Individuals needing shelter will be accepted, free of charge, at the following locations under the following conditions:
- The Salvation Army, 4530 South Claiborne Ave. – will accept men and women beginning at 4 p.m.
- Ozanam Inn, 843 Camp St. – will accept men only beginning at 4 p.m.
- Covenant House, 611 North Rampart St. – will accept men and women between the ages of 16 to 21, their dependent children, and any woman with dependent minor children. Open 24/7.
- New Orleans Mission, 1130 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. – will accept men and women beginning at 4 p.m.
ROADWAYS AND BRIDGES
Icy conditions continue to exist on New Orleans surface streets and elevated roadways causing dangerous driving conditions. As temperatures are not expected rise above freezing until mid-afternoon today, residents are urged to stay off the roads as much as possible.
Crews with the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) have been working overnight and continue to assess and address road conditions throughout the city. DPW crews have completed sanding operations on the Broad St. overpass and the intersection of Chef Menteur Hwy and Read Blvd. Crews are currently sanding the Jeff Davis overpass and will then address the intersection of Earhart Blvd. and Washington Ave. Additional hazards will be addressed as needed throughout the day. Residents are encouraged to call 911 to report dangerous road conditions.
DOTD reports continued closures on the following elevated roadways due to icy conditions:
- I-10 and I-610 from Metairie to Slidell, including the Highrise Bridge and the Twin Span Bridge
- Leon C Simon Dr. between Press Dr. and Downman Rd. (Seabrook (Ted Hickey) Bridge)
Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions and closures using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). This information is also available online on the 511 Traveler Information Web site at www.511la.org .
All NOLA schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Recovery School District, and the Orleans Public School Board are closed Wednesday. Additionally, local universities, including Delgado, Dillard, Loyola, LSU Health, Southern University of New Orleans, Tulane, University of New Orleans, and Xavier are closed as well.
CITY FACILITIES CLOSED
The following City facilities closed for business today:
- City Hall (1300 Perdido St.)
- All New Orleans Recreation Department Commission (NORD) facilities
- All New Orleans Public Library branches
- Municipal and Traffic Court
- Criminal Court
- Civil District Court
SEWERAGE AND WATER BOARD
All Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans offices are closed today.
REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY (RTA)
Service remains suspended on all streetcar lines, including the Riverfront Streetcar line. The RTA has replaced streetcar service on Canal/Cemeteries and St. Charles with limited bus service until conditions improve.
The RTA has restored limited bus service to the following routes (limited service is restored to the entire route unless otherwise noted):
5 – Marigny-Bywater, 10 – Tchoupitoulas, 11 – Magazine, 15 – Freret, 28 – M.L. King, 39 – Tulane, 60 – Hayne is running from Delgado to SUNO, 84 – Galvez, 88 – St. Claude/ Jackson Barracks, 91 – Jackson-Esplanade, 94 – Broad will start from Tulane Avenue
The RTA will monitor roads and weather reports and will continue to resume services as conditions improve.
For Rider Alerts and more information regarding RTA detours, visit www.norta.com and register a MyRTA email account to receive service alerts. For help in planning your trip or for questions about detours or delays, call the Customer Care Rideline at 504-248-3900. We will continue to provide updates via Twitter and Facebook @NewOrleansRTA, as well as our website: www.norta.com .
The Canal Street/ Algiers Point Ferry and the Lower Algiers/ Chalmette Ferry will remain out of service until further notice. For the latest information call (504) 248-3900 or follow RTA on Twitter at @NewOrleansRTA. Riders are also encouraged to visit the RTA website at www.norta.com for service alerts.
All Metro Services and Richard's Disposal garbage and recycling collection has been cancelled for today due to icy road conditions. Collection will resume on the second collection day this week, which is Saturday for garbage and next Wednesday for recycling.
Empire Services will make a second collection today in the commercial area of the French Quarter and the DDD. Residents and businesses should have their trash place on the curb for collection by 2:30 p.m. today.
Gentilly Landfill is closed today and Riverbirch Landfill will close at noon today.
NEW ORLEANS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The runways at Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans International Airport are closed at this time due to icy conditions. Airlines have cancelled morning flights to and from the Airport. Officials will continue to monitor the runway surface conditions and will reopen the runways only when it is safe to do so.
Because of hazardous road conditions, travelers are urged to check with their airlines directly for latest the information on cancellations before heading to the airport. The airport terminal remains open, however there are limited food and beverage options available.
Additionally, the elevated departures ramp is closed at this time because of ice accumulation. All traffic is being diverted to the bottom arrivals ramp.
The safety of our travelers is our top priority. We will continue to stay in constant communication with you to provide updates on the operations as soon as they become available.
All hotels, restaurants, attractions and other tourism related facilities remain open and ready to accommodate our visitors.
NOLA 311 is closed Wednesday. To report downed power lines and any other emergencies, call 911.
Updates on winter weather and local impacts will be available at ready.nola.gov. Residents are encouraged follow @NOLAReady on Twitter and to sign up for email and text message alerts at http://ready.nola.gov/stay-connected/emergency-alerts/ . For more information on winter weather preparedness, visit http://ready.nola.gov/plan/winter/ .
IMPORTANT NUMBERS TO KNOW
- For life threatening emergencies and downed power lines, call 911
- For real-time traffic and road condition, call 511
- Report 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)
- To report water emergencies, call 504-529-2837 (504-52WATER)