NEW ORLEANS – Officials on Wednesday said that while the city is no longer under a tropical storm warning, the risk for danger isn’t entirely gone as a tornado watch remains in effect until 7 p.m.
A day earlier, as Tropical Storm Cindy meandered in the Gulf of Mexico, city leaders and the National Weather Service feared the outer bands that appeared headed toward the metro area could dump as much as a foot of water by Thursday and lead to widespread flooding.
But a weakening storm system resulted in less rain than anticipated, creating a manageable amount for the city’s pumps to handle, leaving most areas relatively dry, said Sewerage & Water Board Executive Director Cedric Grant.
City leaders said they continue to closely monitor the storm since the rain has not yet ended. There were some glimmers of sunlight earlier in the day, but heavy bands of rain continued to move through the city as noon approached and would continue into the night.
“Just because we’re not in the cone for this storm doesn’t mean we’re not going to continue to feel the impact from Tropical Storm Cindy,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.
Minutes later, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Orleans Parish. It expired a little before noon with no initial reports of damage.
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By 11:15 a.m. Entergy said, the number of homes in New Orleans without power was about 870 and 225 in Jefferson Parish.
There was some pooling on a handful of streets -- including parts of Chef Menteur Highway and Highway 11, as well as Lakeshore Drive -- that were closed, and Landrieu asked people to avoid driving on any streets that take on water to avoid pushing it into homes.
Rising tides were affecting Venetian Isles and the Lake Catherine community outside of the levee protection system, with the New Orleans Fire Department ready to respond to those areas if needed.