Jan 28, 2014|
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's press conference on preparations for the upcoming severe winter weather.
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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Assembled behind me all that. Our men and women working on in all the governmental. And other agencies that are necessary for protecting. The city of New Orleans -- wanted to give you an update of where we are. This city is in active preparations for -- this significant winter event that as you know stretching. All the way from Houston to the Carolinas and as one of the most significant weather events. Of this kind -- would had at least in ten years -- in New Orleans is leaning forward. Yesterday I declared a state of emergency Orleans parish. I have been in communication with the parish presidents for the surrounding areas as well us. -- the governor's office of Homeland Security. To make sure that we are all communicating on a what is necessary to protect. This region and particularly the city of New Orleans -- emergency operations center is activated and we are working 24/7. I communications staff for the press a joint information center is open and operating. And today our residents must be prepared for all what we now know was definitely coming our way. I'm people who have been through this tell us that went to storms of this nature of very very unpredictable. -- and it could be respected it is a very fluid situation. That we're gonna have to continue to monitor. We just received a briefing from the net from the weather service in the emergency operations center we underwent a storm warning. As everybody knows two things are gonna happen today it's gonna get colder on and it's gonna get wet. And when it gets colder and goes below freezing that -- is gonna turn into ice. And when -- that he gets by an area that's not prepared for it it creates clear and present dangers. Four people in a number of different ways the first thing that's gonna happen is the roads are gonna become impassable they gonna become very dangerous. A bridges are gonna become the most dangerous of all of those on and on top of that if the ice it's on the power lines for too long. On trees and the trees then I impair those wires we could have electrical outages which Entergy is gonna monitor we are very concerned. About a protecting against the loss of life. I'm you cannot drive a car honestly device and maintain control of it and if you do that you're gonna put yourself when you put other people in harm's way so we're asking people. To stay home as you know as a result of the declaration of emergency we have closed all government offices in the city today and tomorrow because we expect this event to be -- us. Until at least Thursday morning and will go -- through some of that today freezing rain sleet will start this afternoon around 2 PM. We can expect not only to have rain sleet ice we also might have some snow accumulation but ice is really -- the dangerous piece that we wanna pay attention to. Other city will be below freezing shortly and it would not reach above freezing temperatures until Wednesday afternoon and when he does that. Is expected to only be there for a minute. And then the weather is gonna get cold again and ice are -- remain with us tomorrow you can expect sun to be out and get a little bit warmer. That's just the faith. It's not gonna stay like that it's gonna get colder and the ice will remain -- us as predicted until Thursday morning we can also expect. Five to fifteen degrees of wind chill. And wind gusts were anticipating as much as one half. Inch of ice and as I have said icy road worries are threatening and where highly are recommending that people stay off filed on the roadways also stay away from. Trees when ice accumulates on the tree limbs in the fall and they can also put you in harm's way as well as a what happened should hit a power line. If you're anywhere around. Capacity is taking on necessary precautions. Other public safety units -- fully staffed and prepared. We have with us today an enormous police department the -- fire department. EMS we have -- National Guard with -- the state police I DO TD and they will all address issue in a minute all hands are on deck. And a PD staged barricades to support the Department of Transportation and development and our bridges throughout the city. Our generators of fuelled and ready to go. An enormous fire department has staged equipment and personnel in the Lower Ninth Ward and in low cost RG has already. The surge of water -- -- is also staged and ready to respond to any -- emergencies on both sides of all of the bridges. All first responders are in communication with mutual partners. As well starting this morning 311 began operating a 24/7. -- we're working to deliver updated information and receive non emergency service requests from residents not emergency service request. Please call 311 the citizens our eyes and I ears would love to have you call us and give us information that you think. I would be necessary and the 311 operators. Who are on call all the time no help direct you to Wear to the appropriate agency to fix your problem. On the Louisiana Department of Transportation development as we speak are all on the street. And so are giving their update their monitoring the bridges and highways there on standby. I took place and on icy roadways. Other resources and personnel was staged in priority locations. In Orleans parish including the following places the Crescent City connection. The Danziger bridge the Seabrook bridge the I 510 Paris road green bridge. I tend highrise. Claiborne avenue otherwise known as US ninety Florida avenue I ten twins fans on the show I'm sure highway eleven. The little bridge. If conditions deteriorate bridges and -- way we're always -- completely. A close. -- terms of public works crews on the street there on standby for road repair. And debris removal if necessary. Step is on standby to install a temporary stop signs if traffic lights go out. Clark and part ways and sanitation equipment is staged and ready to clear roadways. If necessary we'll give you an update. The city has activated its citywide freeze plan. The following shelters are open the Salvation Army the Covenant House. -- and and then -- and the New Orleans mission we have extra bed capacity. Allie Mae Williams sent a shelter -- open this morning at 22222. Simon boulevard. That is set up for -- sheltering. And for medical needs. We're also coordinating what -- tourism leaders because as you know we had a major convention in town. All of those plans are on growth and being wrapped up on the airport. Team is in Constant Contact with the airlines are no flights. Flying out of New Orleans today and I don't think tomorrow I think bill will follow that on as as needed basis but. I think that. The airlines are -- cease and desist on until we're out of harm's way that may change. So make sure you check with your airlines but right now. There are no flights moving in and out of a Lakefront airport bar or and that's why to schools or PSB and ours we have closed the schools today. I'm expecting that they'll do so tomorrow too because just in the city is in my opinion is still going to be in harm's way. In terms of hospitals gosh there L issued -- and children's operating. And to the hospital is closed today and tomorrow. We gonna get a report from -- TA. In a minute but the street cars are no longer operating the bosses will continue to do so. On on a am. As appropriate basis and of course we're working closely with Entergy. Mr. rice's gonna give us an update on that that a thousand workers are prepared to respond and give you more details and information. Are also listed as I've said many times as citizens have to be prepared. You have to stay alert and the auto the day is that everybody is courteous and everybody is wise about how they handle their business. We ought to get through this very difficult time like we've gotten through so many other ones together without the loss of life. And to the extent possible the loss of property it's a very fluid situation I want ask everybody again to check on their neighbors. Because sometimes neighbors need help and unable to ask for -- The it is very. Dangerous and and the dangers are real solid like to go over them again. A driving on icy roads -- life threatening for you and for other people so please don't do it. Stay away from fallen trees downed tree limbs and power lines. And the improper use of generators and candles will cause harm and chief McConnell talk about that. In a minute I hope that you've got your supplies are ready you should have a plan in place and updates to everybody will be available and ready. Dot Motorola dot gov. If you wanna sign up for email and text alerts follow us on social media the handle is at. No ready this allows of course just to be in touch with you and four with important safety information. All right so in summary of the -- -- is going to be impacted by this winter storm it's very serious. It's gonna start this afternoon. And it's gonna last through Thursday morning we're already beginning to see the impacts. All of this significant ice accumulations already in Baton Rouge and in Hammond. Freezing rain and sleet are now falling in Gonzales. In Slidell also. We're encouraging citizens to get prepared now. Asking you to take all the necessary precautions to look out for you neighbors and motorists -- off the road. Unless you actually have to be on it any case of emergency anybody should call nine. 011 again please remain vigilant. We feel very confident we have plans in place. And I am and I'm very confident that the people -- New Orleans. And the people of the region will cooperate fully with the authorities so that we get through this without any. Loss of life and limb or property so I thank you all very much and at this point tunneling to -- of current generation need to be followed by Charles rice. And then there will follow in the water on the sheet. Currency. The deputy mayor for the city of New Orleans attorney emergency preparedness merge operations centers up operational and will remain so throughout the event. Coordination between all the elements are going very very well no issues at all. DO TD. It as the mayor said the station lot of equipment actually started some of their DI seeing earlier this morning just prior to coming and to this meeting here we are told that there on the Seabrook bridge now the -- So it's what there were reduced to one lane not because of any problems -- DIC and that's why it's down one line now. Again everything at all. Highways are open running with no problem but that doesn't mean he should get out on the road we still -- thereby stay home -- that. Children. Now hear from Entergy and Charles writes more. And everywhere and energy continues to monitor when the storm that's effect in the match upon an area. We're closely monitoring the weather as the mayor stated we have. About a thousand workers ready to respond throughout the metro area and a total -- about 2600. Restoration work is a stumbled across Louisiana. A staging areas are open and operational. There additional trucks that are parked him ready. To a level restoration begins. We've activated our command centers. We would like to keep -- customers inform. We've enacted some proactive customer calls and texts. Those you have are -- You can get updates on that on our app outage updates we also have and did you storm center website. You can follow us on Twitter as well as FaceBook and also. We have have you -- website. In if you are way -- -- would ask that you call 1809. Outage. And also you can monitor. View outages at Entergy dot com. Thank -- that department when they have more than just an August seem to be felt like she served. Thank you mr. mayor or loss flight left at 11 AM this morning. -- to replace a canceled. And we believe this situation would continue into tomorrow we hope to resume flights percent. But please check with your computer into -- her clients on your flights pictures. Regional transit authority figure to smear those who have stated our streetcar service has been suspended. Best service is red moon where the street corners and on the road except on the riverfront. Our best sort of Israel we will continue to rent and to -- -- and weather conditions change for updates please call the RTA. Had five -- floor to floor eight. Third man hundred once again that's by those who refer to for 83900. Also updates are also available online at WWW. That really really bad loan that bad bad. All follow the latitude on Twitter. At New Orleans RTA thank you. Good morning. First and foremost thank you for hearing to our advice and staying home the rows of virtually empty so we appreciate your cooperation. Don't let the conditions right now fool you change is definitely coming rain ice and standing ice is on the way. This police department is prepared for whatever comes our way and we are on the all hands on doc deck mode and will stay that well and went to was determined that we no longer need to. We're prepared to handle automobile accidents on the roadways. We're already patrolling the neighborhoods and you'll see blue light circling in your neighborhoods especially if electric outages occur. I want to thank the men and women of the NOP do you all been accounted for and are at work helping us to make this a safe transition for the next three two days. Thank you. Now we hear from the fire department after him from the police department then try to -- -- up and running fully staffed. With the stand the cold weather I would like to emphasize that citizens not compromise the safety and efforts they want. Alternatives aren't -- space -- what are biggest risk possible starting -- we had to file already this morning that was started by a space heater. So I encourage everyone to -- typically careful when using all of what we call alternative forms that he. I mentioned it yet always -- a minute well ventilated room that requires cracking windows -- -- mass circulation that's real important. -- she keep them a safe distance many -- combustible material curtains off all of furnishings. Undoubtedly missionary we have to open -- pets are unattended elect was basically just make sure there on plan directly and what's not. Utilizing extension cord. Additionally with this type heat you have to be worried about carbon monoxide poisoning. To build up and Roman and will cause death. So once again make sure it -- well ventilated and down. Keep do not you stoves ovens to heat the home those absolutely low cost -- monoxide. In addition to if you using candles enough we have the -- we do have the potential for elect rod just. Candles or particularly dangerous to not leave middle room unintended -- -- -- opening -- doors and windows was unthinkable into him. And make should I when you leave the ground and -- Marmol people sleeping. Or around our children. General as they should not operate in a billion for the same race with the club monoxide nations outside the -- many. Combustible materials not in the building not in a location where the fumes could enter the building through an opening. Com that she stole the fuel for those type of appliances and a safe place outside the structure. And of course a good time to check smoke detectors and called monoxide detectors. An event that they're necessary. Thank you. Doctor -- you know. Yes -- asserts. Good morning there was a message fully staffed with additional ambulances and emergency response vehicles. Place throughout the city to respond to any medical emergencies and -- just a few safety tips has been stated please stay off of the roads the conditions will become icy and dangerous. For your neighbors check on your elderly neighbors make sure they have adequate heat and provisions to make it through this this event and additionally just had a comment on. -- McDonald's. Carbon monoxide comments a -- that is a very dangerous gas that is tasteless colorless odorless. It's caused by improper heating so please follow all instructions -- any portable heaters has been discussed. I mean do not use. Ovens or any other type of grill four -- in the home. Right Charlotte there Bob Bob Miller and then more room. Good morning. The Health Department is reporting that -- homeless shelters are open and currently there about 494. People being sheltered. A 130 open spaces still available. That Ellie -- -- which is an overflow unity is opening in the currently sheltering three people we've had no medical costs to three when when at this time. And we are in Health Department calling some of our most honorable our clients. Aren't -- special medical needs registry just to reassure them that we're here and let them know that if they do have the power outage to call 311 and let us now. Some dialysis centers and community health centers are closed the list is onto the web site they're ready dot -- dot gov site. Where you can try net hospitals are open and operational and the east after hours urgent care center is also open an operational thank you so. A bomb search of one -- Also merger -- -- facilities are prepared for cold weather operations. Additional staff has been brought in to ensure operations. As road closures occur. Soared from portable power plant is prepared to supply electrical power to storage a mortar board. Water and sewer facilities. During cases of Entergy averages. Soared to more reports staff equipment and materials. For being station in central New Orleans as well as New Orleans east and in Algiers. To ensure response. In case of bridge closures. Our offices are closed but the emergency phone center remains open and we can be reached at 52 water. Sure merger more liberal response teams will respond to any sewer or water related emergency throughout this that's five to nine. 52922837. I got a -- -- news conference from new Orleans City Hall mayor or good morning. The hotels are operating with essential personnel so we're taking care of the visitors that have remained with us through the storm and that will be -- -- for the next couple of days. Major attractions are closed for the time being. And visitors as well citizens can get an update on all of these activities and operations at New Orleans CBB dot com so that's your check in on a regular basis point 47. -- -- council members have been with us throughout and from the beginning we have -- -- and vice president -- counsel Stacey would you like to make a comment. Insurance is. Okay. I know that all these good folks appear taking care out all. People. In the area and the information that they need to know. I would ask Charlotte parent with the Health Department could you come and explain. If if a person has a medical emergency they should be dialing 911. Right. And when you were talking about 311 who is set for the non emergency matters nonemergency manners and anyone who is electrically dependent medical equipment. If the electricity goes we're asking him to call Cleveland went so we -- -- -- into the appropriate persons think thank you I want to make that real clear. And I just -- say that I was in touch with the SB CA earlier. And they do have their vehicles staged. And they asked -- to 24/7. If you see an animal out in this weather if you can take it and please take again. And then call them at 3685191. And given the information out kind of pick up the animal they are prioritizing. Animals out. Without shelter of right now. And so if few if you can't take the animal and then still call them at the number 3685191. And leave as much information if you don't get a live operator leave this much information as you can regarding the description of the animal. And the location of the animal. Thank you think he's. -- Thank you on very much I was just like to add one thing that as to what doctor parent said. We had a fairly large number of homeless people that are still. In camping underneath -- interstates and finding shelter anything that we can do to encourage them to take appropriate shelter. Is I'm going to get for their safety and also the people we're gonna have to go out I saw some good samaritans as I was coming in this morning. Bringing out warm clothes and and blankets and things. While that may feel theory collide. It really is not protecting their life we need to encourage people to take proper shelter because a blanket or fleece it's not gonna protect them. In the whether they were gonna get over the next 24 to 48 hours so doctor parent make sure that there are shelters for every one. In this city New Orleans there are average overflow shelters please encourage people to take refuge in a in a safe place as opposed to staying. Out on the street and in Allen and and to potentially taking even more dangerous action. Thank you also very much again in the shelters that are open the Salvation Army is open the Covenant House is open Oz and in the end is open -- New Orleans mission. Is open and Ellie Mae Williams center on solid boulevard for overflow for special needs it is open as well again I wanna thank everybody. For all that work we have first responders that are working 24/7 if anybody in the community sees one of them police thanked them. With a complete commitment everybody here is leaning forward I just to summarize this is a very serious event. It is unfolding as predicted by the National Weather Service we will have rain we will have cold and we will have ice. We may have snow and it is absolutely dangerous if you don't abide by. Some of the suggestions that we had made today please don't put yourself for anybody else -- lives in jeopardy. And of course we will walk through this as we have together. Through many many other very difficult times and I'm certain that we've if we all these common sense and courtesy that -- all be fine. Come Thursday morning a very early we'll keep you updated and we'll do this again tomorrow right around the same time unless a weather. Circumstances change that require us. To meet again before that. All right with that let me open it up to any questions -- directed to the -- listening to New Orleans Mayor Mitch -- line from new Orleans City Hall as we wait for the worst of the winter weather to arrive. They're called the calls have actually been very regular option and nothing irregular has has come -- since since yesterday. And they haven't been any weather related injuries I'm not I don't believe up to this point. Are. Have you had resistance from other areas it's going. With in the match where you we have not suffered any outages have been outages in the west in Louisiana. With regard to our mutual assistance partners we've been in touch them. Since yesterday and they are on standby if we need. This -- Yes nominally achievement of that for you chief -- So we -- actually units in the areas where we thought it might be. Access issues of the bridges were to go out. So in the -- -- fluid. And now comes out of the Whitman bridge and we wanted to get across industrial now but that night -- staged. Additional resources additionally every shut up with the of fire and the technologists and I meant. Just in case and it's a reciprocal agreement obviously. So that's -- -- -- those resources also said there -- places -- to war report. Because of the bridges go up wanna make sure that all about we have access to all the folks may need help. Yes anybody else questions. Are going once going twice. All right.