WWL>Topics>>City government press conference

City government press conference

Jan 27, 2014|

Mayor Landrieu and other city and state officials outline the response plan for a major winter storm

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Welcome everybody thank you so much for common. We have with us all of my council members -- of -- -- been with us throughout the day. I'm making sure that plans are in place. For what could potentially be on the worst winter weather that we have had. In at least the last ten years and some are predicting in the last 25. We have surrounding us all of the men and women that are representing all of them. State agencies and the city agencies and -- boards and commission. That would be responsible for making sure that the city is prepared. For this event. -- the city of New Orleans is actively preparing. As we speak I have before I came in -- signed a declaration of emergency. Four by the city of New Orleans has spoken. On this morning with the parish presidents. Of the surrounding parishes to make sure that we are in communication with each other. And communicating. Because of course this is not only a regional event for the parishes it's a regional event for the United States of America. Potentially stretching from Houston all the way to the Carolinas. Are simply put. When you have no water. And you have very cold weather. -- you get a bad winter storm that's got ice sleet. And snow. A potentially but the ice being the most dangerous and of course because the ice a potential power outages so we have to again prepare for the worst. And hope for the best. A we will leaning forward we have plans in place these winter storms can be unpredictable. With unfamiliar conditions to -- area. Last Friday. The temperatures were just in the thirties we had bridges that were frozen over as you may remember. We had accidents on those bridges on a fairly large pile up on the green bridge. Sometime I'm not long ago in taxes when they had assembly that there were a thousand crashes. And there were fatalities and we wanna make sure that we avoid all of that loss of life is of course the number one thing that we have to protect. Again so wanna you know ask the citizens again to be visually this will work and everybody will be safe. If we're all Smart about how we handle our business in the next couple days I do expect. Based on which are about to hear. Well from a Matt Moreland on that this event will begin now to begin to become extreme tomorrow morning. And potentially be with us through Thursday morning and so I have I issued -- are canceling. Or closing City Hall. -- tomorrow and Wednesday. You also hear from the schools and other public services about what their plans are but I would expect that everybody in this city I would do their best to follow suit. Of course it's hard to guess what the weather's gonna bring us but again we always prepare for the worst. And we always hope for the best. We are in fact anticipating as much as a quarter inch of ice and we want it they advised people to stay off. Of the roads because if anybody's been run on the role of ice on the one thing you know is that you are no longer in control. And nothing you can do is gonna make that. Any better the city is taking on necessary precautions. We are in a state of emergency as I said it allows us the flexibility and the authority to take necessary actions. Our emergency operations and is currently active will conduct 24/7 operations. Until otherwise noted. I communications office will run for the press purposes like joint information center that you all aware of and of course we will continue to coordinate. With other agencies we are working closely with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and development. And the state police to monitor the bridges and highways and it will be here to give you further information. Park public works sanitation parking park ways are all on board crews on stand by. A public safety you know to fully staffed and prepared. And letters and OPD the New Orleans fire department in and that's all hands are on deck and you get. A good advice and counsel from the police chief from the head of EMS and the fire department as well. A we have activated our city wise freeze plan for the homeless shelters will begin taking people starting at 12 PM. On Tuesday and who extra beds as capacity requires. We will be in close communication with all of our residents. 311 system is operating 24/7. A starting Tuesday at at 8 o'clock AM. Residents can get updated information reports. You can send in about downed trees tree limbs and of course power lines and we will direct them to the appropriate agencies. We're working with all of our partners as I have said in case of emergencies. Call 911. As a relation the school was the only our school board is is closing public and charter schools on Tuesday on this just enhancement is here to talk more about that. The recovery school district we also have a represented mr. Dana Pedersen who talked to us about that. As a relation hospitals washed hellish Ichiro in Childrens are operating and will continue to operate. We are in fact also coordinating with -- tourism leaders as you know we have a major convention in town the national association of automobile dealers. Other convention is winding down many of them have left are ready for their 400 that is still here and we're communicating with them. As we speak -- the airport will be completely operational at this time that we're in constant communication with airlines. Probably the number of those airlines decided to not fly tomorrow. If decorum that is here from the airport they'll talk about that. I just -- Augustine is here from the regional transit authority that was speak to you about the bosses are citizens. You must be prepared. This is we've been through many of these things before and the way this works is if everybody cooperates. And everybody just follows along this considerate and is Smart. The chances of anybody getting hurt -- people being informed is reduced significantly. And really that is the -- -- the day. And so I would ask everybody to be vigilant protect you -- your family. Membership pets you pipes. Urge you to check on your neighbors especially a -- elderly residents which are really important. Make sure that you dripping faucets and wrap your pipes to -- for -- prevent them from busting. If at all possible do not park your car under trees especially the ones -- big wins. At this particular point in time updates are going to be available at ready. Dot Nolan dot gov. I would just say this to you that dangers for the residents here or we are driving on icy roads his life threatening and not only for yourself. About other people as well. I trying to break into abandoned houses a to find shelter is another issue away to cause a problem because we the chief we'll speak about. The potential fires that come from -- stay away from fallen trees. A downed tree limbs and particularly a power lines improper use of generators and candles are also gonna cause your problems so let's not. I do that and of course spend the rest that they can't get your supplies. Together and having your plan in place on if you wanna sign up for email or text alerts you can do that -- visit. And ready dot Nolan dot gov. Ready dot Nolan dot gov you can follow us on Twitter at at -- ready. This allows citizens to contact. The people get information as they need so in summary a let me say this is is a very serious storm. On the it is gonna cover the entire southern part of the country all the way up to the Carolina coast it is probably the worst that we will. C. In the last ten -- -- some predictions 25 years there will be ice. On the it will be very very dangerous and it's really important. That we just prepare and stay ahead of the game and stay vigilant if you can. I will come out of this thing in you know god willing everybody I would be safe once again wanna. -- thank all of the people that with listed today especially all of my council members who have been. In the loop from the beginning I don't wanna thank all the heads of all of the agencies a fight -- always been just tremendous. In making yourself available so that the people on the city in the metropolitan area can be -- finally. -- to the parish presidents again who have been in great communication with each other into the governor's office. We just need to stay focused and make sure that we do the right thing so with that. The cut columnist and Matt Moreland. Who was up a National Weather Service expert to give us. May be a better rendition of with the weather is gonna look like I did the best that I could and then we hear from a number of different people who give the public. That kind of information that they need bump please help me welcome -- demand more. Okay thank you as the mayor mentioned Republican at a very serious storm for metro New Orleans. This is going to be a serious ice storm. I temperatures expected to drop below freezing -- 9 AM tomorrow morning and freezing rain all began around that time. And freezing rain will mix with sleet and snow as we head into the late afternoon and evening hours. Altogether were looking at a quarter to our sense of ice accumulations. What this means is you're gonna see you glaze on all of your all of your elevated highways so major transportation issues. The potential for tree limbs to come down. Power outages as well so those are some significant issues -- Tennessee. As the mayor mentioned before. Once the temperatures drop below freezing they're gonna stable -- freezing for an extended period of time. So we're looking at probably all the way until Thursday morning -- it subfreezing temperatures. Now the precipitation more and -- Tuesday night. But even though the precipitation and we're still looking at temperatures below freezing all the way until Thursday. As far as our lowest temperatures. That's gonna occur. Late Tuesday night Wednesday morning and we'll see temperatures in the low twenties here in new world -- and I wanna -- in the wind gusts as well. We're gonna see wind gusts twenty to thirty miles an hour. That could exacerbate. The -- The power outages and also the -- sell so it's going to be a major issue. So summing it up once again major ice storm for New Orleans. Quarter to half an inch of ice. With the likelihood of power outages in major transportation issues. Great -- that it would appreciate lieutenant colonel Jerry stayed out there vote. That the American public -- As the mayor stated are merged operations and will be up and operational. Throughout the event. Court coordinating efforts of our public safety and all our other departments we've had some great discussions today. With all the department heads and our state -- agencies it would work with. We're ready we're prepared for this so we ask her citizens to get prepared also and again as a mayor said if you don't have to get out there don't drive at all thank you. Right -- we can from a Department of Transportation and development. -- from there. We know that we're gonna have ice on our elevated portions of the roadway we know that for a fact. We have staged. -- was the icing materials. Salt sand will start at 4 o'clock in the morning. Army in this area where over restarting. And all the parts on north of here. It's apply those to the roadways. We're gonna maintain the major routes as long as we can on this going to be it was the 48 hour -- A home we hope we have enough material to do -- the more vehicles we have on the roadway. -- more for -- we have to guard and maintain these rulers. So we're just gonna you know if you don't have to be out don't be out leader for the emergency vehicles and honestly people who do their job or on a reward. The the materials that were put out. You know once those are all roadway they do deteriorate if we can't maintain we will be installed barricades cross route waiting and with the help of and a PD. Walking off roadways and you'll be. Are subject to go on to the ground level of the of the dome. Interchanges and in the roadways. -- so that we keep you'll feel it exceptions. Great thank you so much appreciated. Charles writes Entergy could. Good afternoon. As mister Moreland said. We are anticipating outages. Could last 35 days for some customers. We're preparing for this when the storm that's gonna affect the entire match -- Including Texas bad obviously Charles and world and now the point parts along I tencor -- and in the south Louisiana. And Mississippi. The impact of ice storms is very difficult to predict the forecasts indicate the approaching weather system can be one of the most challenging that the series scenes -- time. We is a very methodical approach and calculated process to bring customers back online. After an outage in very cold weather regardless of whether the initial cause of the outage was specifically weather related. For example when wind blows the reason to -- to lines -- damages electrical equipment. But something else an extremely cold conditions would a customs may notice is that if an outage occurs. Regardless of the cause restoration of filing different process. That we normally -- doing hurricane. Rather than simply energizing an entire -- all at once. We must bring customers back online once section at a time to avoid damage to our system or making the situation worse. The reason for the different process involves how much power is being used during extreme temperature events. Hot or cold customers can use more electricity. Either keep in the heat or air conditioning or other devices running. Electric heaters in particular often run constantly. In that power off and on creating too much constant power demand. Homes that have both electric and electric heat and air conditioning along with other electrical appliances. Use more than a compare -- compare but one using just air conditioning like in the summertime. When the powers disrupted doing winner many customers leave their heating systems and appliances turned on. Creating too much energy demand all at once when we try to restore power. When an outage occurs restoring our customers on a given feeder. Has the potential to treat large instantaneous power demands and that power demand can be higher than the built in protective devices that we have that they can handle. So meaning we could actually trip aligning cause more outages so again we ask you to be careful. I think is mister Moreland stated. You know we do anticipate outages for some customers and maybe three -- five days. Again we ask that you be safe if you do see -- downed power lines please do not hesitate to report that both to the city. And to us in that by all means please remain safe which. Cruise stage yes sir thank you mr. indefinitely than it. We RE pre staging cruise here into the metro area so we are prepared in. Just everyone knows we do have experience that I stored as I -- your -- -- crews have traveled to Arkansas to assist assist the utility with regard to -- Thank you mr. rice all right to -- -- -- -- chief McConnell and inducted elder. To be followed by captain -- from the state police thank you very much. As with all events of whether such as this we're going to be here to work with the people in laws and make them safe. This is essentially a traffic management incidence. When the weather gets bad in the roads ice over black ice occurs people oftentimes lose control of their vehicles because they're not used to that condition to drive. The schools and the government will be closed for the next two days we would encourage people to stay off the roadways Tuesday and Wednesday. We would also encourage you to recognize that even though the sleet and rain and freezing conditions may look like -- changed through Tuesday into Wednesday. There is still sub freezing temperatures the roadway will still maintain those subfreezing temperatures in the ice we'll still exist so we would encourage people. To report to us any conditions they see that are dangerous and the icing conditions they see on the road -- dangerous. This afternoon we instructed at all police officers days off for canceled. We will have all police officers on hand starting early into the morning so that we are here to be visible. And vigilant. With an event like this we can expect that heavy tree limbs may fall and break power lines as a result that we want more officers in the field. Will be using the blue light strategy recall from -- where you'll see us and we will be everywhere and we -- remind people who see this is an opportunity to commit -- -- At every single police officer will be working tomorrow Wednesday and Thursday and this was not be any time you try to take advantage of your neighbors or businesses in the city and want. Again let the government do the work that we do. Help us by staying inside and let us let you know when the roads are safe as opposed to making that decision on your own thank. -- The north fired upon would like to remind all citizens with this in a cold weather coming. Please do not compromise your safety in an effort to keep war. Use -- is only -- well ventilated area. Keep heaters at least three feet bases at least three feet for any combustible. Don't these children pets and -- space heaters. On unattended. Dude has associated on ventilated here is make sure you only use and in an area that's been belatedly when distract if you have to if you gas heaters. Electric heaters makes and it plugged directly into a wall socket not -- outlets. Check the extension cords on the the -- -- on the electric heaters makes it cannot dams they -- -- do not use it here. Unplug all he does if you not. In and everywhere they're being news. All gas heating sources must be properly ventilated keeping windows is a says slightly open certainly fresh tea to reduce the chance of call monoxide buildup this. Strictly important in -- Tightly -- house. -- a stove. To heat -- home. Due to the buildup of carbon monoxide. All of these type gas appliances can cause oxygen to deplete and death from -- monoxide poisoning. Before you light candles makes it there and contain Vick not to overlook keep candles away from curtains -- boss will never put candles -- windows exits. And you know we've candles unattended -- particularly within reach of small children extinguished candles before you leave -- go to bed. When power outages occur such as many people turned portable generators for temporary solution without knowing the risks. To call monoxide from called -- off from the rated by the generator can also lead to call monoxide poisoning. Some makes it generates only kept outside well ventilated -- many openings in the structure. A place generators where they exhaust teams cannot come into and an open window. Also when you refueling generate it never do wallets running machine turn off. Following a manufacturer's instructions that come with it and do not -- the fuel in the build and keep it outside. With that said as -- Ed mentioned earlier. Vacant structures often we have Tony stat called snaps with vacant homes we have shelters open throughout the city please do not. Take refuge in any of those places and attempted to keep warm the shelters all -- open free republic. And -- an additional shelters so please take shelter where it's available. I'm a safety thing with that said that the good times -- smoke detectors called monoxide detectors and have -- -- Bonus time thank you doctor failed in this. So -- restaurants car went -- event will bring in that extra crews from warmer NC response vehicles -- be available. I'm an additional work with our mutual aid partners. Additionally I just like to remember her body as remind everyone that. This is an again a traffic Aventis U serve has said stay off the roads so for for solace for responders are tied up. Deal with additional traffic accidents. During the events as well please check check and your neighbors the frail elderly. Check on them make sure they're doing okay. And just just be good neighbors heard the -- -- -- -- Good evening. Last for just last -- storm we experienced a 400% statewide. A weather related crashes we hope to reduce that number significantly with all the plan and collaboration went on here with a local partners. In here to -- B six parish area we have about 45 troopers assigned to the roadways we gonna concentrate diary tonight ten. The saint Claude avenue bridge the Paris -- bridge and the Crescent City connection. We acts. For people to please refrain from driving on the roadways. However if you must and if you find yourself in a situation where are you need to police you need that assistance of state police please dial star 577. Star -- thank you. So there. And just wanted to let you know then our partner homeless shelters as a man in New Orleans commission. Will have normal operations tonight and those two will reopen tomorrow at 2 PM. And the Salvation Army will keep our citizens who are in the shelter is -- tomorrow morning throughout the event. The city of New Orleans will open its overflow shelter. -- more at twelve noon and it will stay open throughout the event. And the only anything from the Health Department is for our citizens who enhance electrically dependent medical equipment. If for some reason you have an outage in your neighborhood please call 3:1 morning and we'll take it for me to see -- -- -- -- to -- and -- Sure. If the car -- on strong international airport to be followed by -- surge of water -- an -- TA and then tourism please. Thank you mr. -- We just got out of communing with the airlines and -- -- And the airlines are contemplating. Canceling all flights if not more so than tomorrow and this may continue into Wednesday. So please check with your airlines on your flight status before you leave for the airport and -- Thank you so much. I've found no -- one report. It's religion waterboarding is prepared to maintain normal operations. Throughout this storm event for water sewer and drainage systems. Our offices will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. But our call center will be open and available for emergency calls had 52 water. And just a reminder. For customers and no please do not drained out. Fats morals or -- down your sink drains to avoid sewer blockages during this cold weather event. Mr. justice August. And some more room for tourism industry -- -- -- -- It appears he has. -- The art history course service who will be discontinued on both Tuesday and Wednesday. And you will be replaced by the Ortiz bus service. Dougherty is bus service will run normal operations. -- street conditions deteriorate to the point that we can no longer run that service so please stay alert. Checked the website of the yard -- in the city of New Orleans. And be mindful. Your team buses are operating under the same traffic conditions as normal for the passengers and pedestrians who will be there thinking. -- Think -- -- mayor as the mayor said the and automobile dealers have basically left town we do have some guests were remaining tonight along with other visitors that are in town. Hotels will be staff accordingly with their personnel. With plenty of supplies so that the situation with the hotels of the in good shape we're in touch with the hotel association as well and they're in touch with their members. I'm here with the New Orleans convention and visitors bureau there a website will be costly updated with other information about attractions and other information that visitors will need to know. And you can find that a new world on CBB dot com. Thank you thank you mr. Stan Smith OP SP. Good afternoon they don't his parish school board direct run schools and all of our charter schools have reported that they will be close and tomorrow. We will continue to monitor the situation with with all of our charters and provide updates on our web sided Debbie Debbie Debbie -- OP is being -- US. Good afternoon. Or recovery school districts schools and all -- include an hour. Directly operated schools and charter schools will be close on Tuesday. We will update that listing of schools on our website and as more information becomes available about Wednesday. Either later on this evening or tomorrow morning we'll certainty we'll certainly update that I would also say that all. Recover school district schools in east Baton Rouge parish Saint Helena parish and want to be parishes we'll also be close tomorrow Tuesday -- All right. -- -- -- -- -- At that you sense I think we got. We got about as much as that we can get and they just as as a recap. A very serious a winter storm event a lot of ice and it's going to be -- a long time worst case scenario is through Thursday morning. And so we want to make sure again that we prepare for the worst and hope for the best cooperation. Leaning forward being prepared communicating. Reaching out to your neighbors -- -- through this many many a times. I'm so on this particular one even though this is not a arcane. It is a major event that requires us to lean forward so while it. I commend all of the advice has been given today to the people of the city new only to thank them advance for the cooperation again all of dot ready dot gov. If you need any information if you wanna reported emergency 911. If you -- reporter broken limb or things that are not of an emergency nature. Then you it would likely to call three of them on and we will have updates. As the weather changes. And as weather permits. All right with that will be happy to try to answer any questions that you might happen you can direct and to the agency. Had that you have a question regarding yes. -- We don't have plans to shut him any of the elevated sections at this moment we plan on. Using deicing materials salt and sand or all of our roadways on to maintain those rumors that. Outages this if you have on the roads and encouraging not -- goes slow. And very very careful. We have maintenance units for each parish so each -- has generally about three or four trucks. On that they'll have loaded with -- salt or sand. Or some sort of the icing material. As the events get to those parishes. On each unit -- independent so. Bill started maybe 4 o'clock in the morning on depending on what parish of Orleans parish who will be starting about between foreign problem morning. On applying those materials to the room -- surface and then as needed will be going on return trips to the roadways and or elevated bridges and replying materials. -- other the party's gonna be. Of the interstate. And then the US runs. -- -- we have a professor British. We we have enough it depends on how many towels we have to reply from the terrible more vehicles that are on the roadway the more frequently applied materials we have. About sixty tons of salt. Well we've got your forty tons of sand. On on those. Wanted to be used on the roadways on that's enough mature we feel if we don't have to make -- applications. On we can get through this for Oregon. Well I wanted to speak to this issue to the citizens if I were you I would expect that the roads are going to be dangerous. And out expected DO TV is not gonna have enough to get to ever wrote all the time whenever you choose. To decide to ride on it I think that's. In any kind of a polite way what he's saying and you're gonna hit the governor and me in the parish presidents say stay off the roads. Unless you absolutely have to get on them because the longer -- on the roads the more -- you put yourself. I and other people and again caution would beat all order. Of the day. -- history. I don't expect that that's gonna happen. And it's the last. Now we head of major Aldridge are shut down because of accidents also was agreed to merge. Yes. -- Correct him when you don't have the traffic running across the -- to help keep the ice off the -- those points iso. And then you have more provenance of Childress now. It's it's. It's all much. Street and be dangerous. And so yes it's. Impossible. It's awful all of the streets so all them. All. So one. Because it's seen as long. Hours. Experience in. Us -- well especially the right equipment which is asking for people's cooperation because. -- It is important. It. -- well off I can't I can't force private. Businesses to do. Anything but based on the information that I'm hearing from the weather service invest based on the best advice. That I'm receiving from experts on network and public safety I have decided to declare an emergency. And to close at city hall of for the next two days because I think that's in the best interest of the city I think the schools are also a doing the same thing although they may expand on that closure to. -- Wednesday I think the young man from the National Weather Service and he expects it. To turn bad tomorrow morning. And that based on their best predictions that they have available to them now it's gonna stay dangerous until Thursday morning. Of course the weather can change and things may clear up on Wednesday and they would wish that they play the suitable here points which they should've done anyway -- and that's another subject. But but I think that most people have we have have indicated that it's going to be a fairly dangerous thing so again. We've been through many many catastrophic events in this area Katrina Rita -- boost off national recession BP -- bill the whole program. The best daughter businesses to prepare for the worst. And to hope for the best as always inconvenience involved in this it's always difficult it's not easy but it is much easier and safer. When everybody leans forward prepares looks out for the neighbor and uses common sense. Yes. -- -- -- -- -- -- Yeah I was actually with a trauma centers for this meeting they're planning on like everyone else staffing being available. Bringing in certain specialties in house and they haves and have everyone there. I'm as far as our units -- again we'll have increased units out there and we will rule position on the West Bank. The Ninth Ward was these areas that we know can be more difficult to get in. That would prefer prepared for that in addition. -- talking with our mutually partners. So that we can you know access where we need access. I don't have the exact numbers right now but I can tell you where we're we're we're bringing in everybody in and bring in and bring in more trucks. Yes right anybody else. -- more room is. -- Again we're asked them to check in with their own airlines depending on what the airlines do on that but the hotel to make arrangements with those -- that trust thing. Now we have -- commission on that but it was just this afternoon the other closing up at 4 o'clock today. It looked at me. On. Friday. Think that we're doing differently. And it. You'll. Need it. -- -- The yes DO TDs leading for much more than they did last time and and again we're watching these little closer. Again I want to emphasize. That the public safety everybody responded. Pretty well we could were able to get the job done. So the biggest thing we harmless. That weather change so quickly. Friday night it dropped temperature are creatures like that and that's really what surprises. And you TD. Is leaning forward in -- early this time because. The customers change.