Curfew Issued In New Orleans After Hurricane Ida; Some Power Possibly Back By Wednesday
The City of New Orleans issued a curfew beginning Tuesday as mass power outages and significant amounts of debris remain an issue in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
The curfew will go into effect from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said in a Tuesday afternoon briefing.
“There is absolutely no reason anyone should be on the streets,” Ferguson said.
The police chief followed up the announcement of a curfew saying there have been some issues of looting, with several arrests made, and general safety as New Orleans remains in the dark for another day since Ida’s Sunday landfall.
NOPD will also have the Louisiana National Guard and Louisiana State Police to assist with patrolling the city.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell said power could show up as soon as Wednesday, but she urged residents not to get their hopes up.
“Based on what I know at this time, there is an expectation by tomorrow late afternoon, into the evening, that we should have some level of transmission to the city of New Orleans,” Cantrell said. “That does not mean we will immediately see all the lights on in the city.”
Just got off call pressing Entergy engineers. We need some solution to power ASAP. We may have some flow of power into #NOLA within 48 hours. We need this done! More to come.— Helena Moreno (@HelenaMorenoLA) August 31, 2021
Earlier Tuesday, City Councilmember Helena Moreno said Entergy had two options: one would be for the company to create a localized grid within New Orleans using two power plants. The other is hooking the city back up to the main grid that transverses the country.
“One of the two options should begin to provide some power back into the city within 48 hours,” Moreno said.
When Ida moved through New Orleans, bringing with it sustained winds up to 100 mph, it knocked out eight transmissions, which resulted in mass power loss.
While the possibility of some light Wednesday will not mean complete restoration, Cantrell said it will mean Entergy can start focusing on distribution lines, many of which are wrapped up in trees. Those are what bring power from transmissions to consumers.
For most residents, however, power restoration could still take weeks, and the outages are turning the region’s typically hot, humid weather into a serious health risk.
Meteorologists stationed in Slidell issued a heat advisory for Tuesday and Wednesday, saying temperatures and the humidity could combine to create highs that feel like 106 F.
“The fact that we have no power anywhere across southeast Louisiana and other portions of the area, that heat will have a cumulative effect on people's bodies,” said Benjamin Schott, the lead meteorologist for the National Weather Service New Orleans, where forecasters continue to monitor the weather using generator power.
“Right now there's no indication that we're going to have any significant drop in our temperatures anytime soon,” Schott said, though dry air might drop the humidity in the city later in the week, making it feel slightly cooler.
The City of New Orleans announced they would use RTA buses as cooling stations beginning Wednesday.
Cantrell also reminded residents that FEMA applications are open, and applicants seeking aid could see disbursements as soon as tomorrow.
Residents can apply by visiting disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA