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Curfew Lifted, City Services Returning In New Orleans 10 Days After Hurricane Ida

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Mayor LaToya Cantrell's Facebook page

New Orleans is no longer under curfew and beginning to ramp down its emergency operations 10 days after Hurricane Ida hit the city as a Category 4 storm.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Mayor LaToya Cantrell confirmed that the city had lifted its 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. curfew and that city services will be fully restored at 7 a.m. Thursday.

At the time of the press conference, Entergy had restored 83 percent of the city’s electricity, according to Cantrell, and the utility was on track to reach 90 percent restoration by the end of Wednesday.

As residences, supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations and other essential businesses become operational again, the mayor and officials said the city will begin scaling back its emergency distribution sites to just three sites, including Joe Brown Park, the Dryades YMCA and Skelly Park on the West Bank.

The eight recreational centers designated as cooling stations will close at 6 p.m. Friday after being open for more than a week for residents to combat the sweltering heat amid extended power outages. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, officials confirmed Wednesday that nine people in Orleans Parish died from excessive heat in the days after Hurricane Ida struck the city.

Beginning Thursday, the city will begin bringing the roughly 800 residents that it transported to shelters throughout the state back to New Orleans. The majority of them are elderly citizens that either showed up to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to be relocated or that New Orleans Health Department strike teams found in senior living apartment complexes during wellness checks following the storm.

The department inspected 32 such facilities, finding five residents dead and several living in poor conditions. The city deemed nine complexes unlivable and revoked their licenses. However, as of Wednesday afternoon, all but one of them had been cleared to reopen, according to Peter Bowen, who directs the Office of Business and External Services.

Residents who were living in that building will have to wait until the conditions are improved before they can be transported back to New Orleans. Bowen said inspectors reviewed code issues that could affect quality of life, including fire suspension systems, elevators, pumps and sprinklers.

Cantrell asked that any evacuees who know that their homes are uninhabitable to hold off on returning to New Orleans, but urged businesses that are able to reopen to do so.

That includes the return of the Saints 2021 football season, which Cantrell announced will take place at the Caesars Superdome on Oct. 3 against the New York Giants.

“We want to make sure that we are able to bounce back,” she said. “I’m asking for those who had to board up, it’s time to remove those boards.”

The Department of Transportation acquired Wednesday a contract to begin cleaning debris city highways, including Elysian Fields Ave., Broad Street, Tulane Avenue, Claiborne Avenue, Gentilly Avenue and Hayne Boulevard.

The Department of Transportation acquired Wednesday a contract to begin cleaning debris city highways, including Elysian Fields Ave., Broad Street, Tulane Avenue, Claiborne Avenue, Gentilly Avenue and Hayne Boulevard.

The city has also acquired an emergency contract for additional assistance to collect household trash. According to Ramsey Green, Chief Administrative Officer of the Office of Infrastructure, while it generally takes trash from four city blocks to fill a garbage truck, it is now taking trash from just one city block to fill trucks. Those added resources will begin operating next week.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and local listeners.

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