Mayor LaToya Cantrell has ordered City Hall and all City government offices to open for a half-day on Wednesday, starting at noon.
“The bottom line is that we have work that needs to get done. The people’s business,” Mayor Cantrell said in a statement. “We are grateful that the anticipated impact of TS Gordon has lessened to the degree that work can resume sooner than expected. Understanding this may be a challenge for employees with children out of school --- we encourage our City workers to bring their children with them where practical, and ask our supervisors to make reasonable accommodations.”
The latest forecasts show Louisiana could be spared from the worst of Tropical Storm Gordon, which is projected to become a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall Tuesday night along Mississippi's Gulf coast.
Governor Edwards Update on State Preparations
Still, Governor John Bel Edwards is urging residents to remain cautious of the storm. “While all of the changes in the track have generally been in our favor, as I mentioned, we still have some nasty weather headed our way,” Edwards says.
High winds and heavy rain remain a concern, especially in St. Tammany and Washington parishes.
A tropical storm warning has been lifted for areas west of Grand Isle, but remains in place for Lake Pontchartrain. Rainfall totals are forecast between 4-8 inches over the next three days, and a Flash Flood Watch is in effect.
350 national guard troops have been deployed across the state, and high water vehicles and boats are positioned in southeast Louisiana. Resources are also being deployed to northeast Louisiana where the storm is expected to track next.
New Orleans Preparations Underway
Mayor LaToya Cantrell says New Orleans is ready for Gordon. "We are all in this together,” Cantrell says. “The City’s absolute, number one priority is to ensure the safety of our residents. We’ve worked all weekend to ensure that we’re prepared."
As part of those preparations, the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is working with state, local and federal partners. The Sewerage and Water Board reports that 116 out of 120 pumps are available, with crews standing by to operate large pump stations – and the Department of Public Works continues to clean and unclog catch basins.
Residents are reminded not to park on, or in front of, catch basins, and to call 3-1-1 to report a catch basin that isn’t functioning.
Parking restrictions on the neutral ground and metered parking enforcement have been suspended as of 2 p.m. Tuesday. Residents are urged to complete their storm preparedness as soon as possible, and to shelter in place at home – securing property for heavy rain and wind, and making sure to have bottled water, non-perishable food and a working flashlight.
If you have to leave your house, don’t drive on flooded streets, and beware of flooded roads at underpasses. The New Orleans Police Department and New Orleans Fire Department have pre-staged barricades in flood-prone areas to prevent drivers from entering high water.
Schools Closed Wednesday
Schools in Orleans, Jefferson, Saint Tammany and Saint Bernard Parishes will remain closed Wednesday due to the unknown overnight impacts of Tropical Storm Gordon. The Archdiocese of New Orleans says its schools will also remained closed. Other school systems say they are still monitoring the weather and will make a decision by Tuesday afternoon.