Severe weather could shorten Endymion route, push back start time


Posted on February 17, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 17 at 11:42 PM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS - Anticipated severe weather has already prompted some major changes for Saturday's parades.

The Krewe of NOMTOC has been rescheduled to begin uptown Sunday at 9 AM. It was originally scheduled for 10:45 AM Saturday on the Westbank.

The Krewe of Iris has been rescheduled to Follow NOMTOC Sunday.

Tucks has been rescheduled for Monday at 3.

But the Krewe of Endymion is still hoping for the best.

Mid-City neighbors staked out their spots on Orleans Avenue the night before Endymion is set to roll.

"It means a lot, it really does," said Mid-City resident Miriam Maxwell. "Mid-City loves Endymion, we really do."

But the threat of severe weather is also threatening Endymion's parade. City officials announced Friday evening the stormy forecast has forced them to reschedule every parade that would have rolled Saturday in New Orleans, except for Endymion.

"I hope it rolls," said Scott McGee, who took Friday off to stake out a spot on Orleans Avenue.

But Krewe officials say there's a good chance it won't roll as scheduled. That's because it will take at least three hours to bring their massive floats from the convention center to the parade's start. In order to roll on time, they'll need the anticipated downpours to hold off by the early afternoon.

"It very definitely could change," said Krewe Captain Ed Muniz. "We think we'd have a tough time starting at 4:30, but if we could start at 6 or 6:30, we'll do it to stay out in our neighborhood."

Endymion officials plan to make the final decision by Saturday afternoon, based on the radar. They may push the start time back as far as 6:30, with a shortened route. If the route is shortened, it would line up at Orleans and Carrollton Avenues, eliminating virtually all of the parade's Orleans Avenue stretch.

There is also a chance the parade would be rescheduled altogether, like last year. If that's the case, the krewe would lose a number of bands, and grand Marshall's Maroon 5.

"It costs a lot of money to reschedule, probably over $100,000 to reschedule," said Muniz.

Rescheduling puts a strain on the city's resources too.

"It's a strain that we accept and want to do, the krewes put so much work into having a successful Mardi Gras and if we can make this happen we want to do it," said New Orleans Police Chief Chief Ronal Serpas.

Stay tuned to Eyewitness News and WWLTV.COM for the latest alerts on Endymion's schedule.