Mayor Landrieu declares state of emergency after tornado sweeps through N.O. East

Mayor Mitch Landrieu talks about the damage in New Orleans East.

NEW ORLEANS -- Tuesday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared a state of emergency for the City of New Orleans after the National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down in New Orleans East.

Here is the latest information from the city:

Emergency crews are working around the clock to respond to resident calls. Approximately 250 properties were severely damaged over the 2-2.5 mile tornado path. Below is a list of efforts the City and its partners have undertaken since the tornado touchdown. Residents are urged to monitor ready.nola.gov for up-to-date information.

Public Safety
At this time, there are no reported fatalities. Thirty-one injuries have been reported, six of them being moderate to severe injuries.

Public safety teams have completed one full search and rescue sweep of the impacted area and have begun a second. Throughout the evening and overnight, officers will continue a highly visible multiagency unified patrol including assistance from the LA National Guard, who have committed 150 troops to cover 24 hour patrols.

Temporary Shelter
The City has opened a temporary shelter at Joe W. Brown Recreation Center (5601 Read Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70127) for impacted residents. Resources for pets are also provided but they will not be guaranteed shelter within the facility. Food, water, cots and blankets are available to those who utilize the shelter overnight.

The New Orleans Health Department, with support from the Red Cross, Catholic Charities and NOFD, is providing basic medical care and prescription assistance. Starting tomorrow, food, water and cleaning supplies will be available for pick up. The Joe Brown Park shelter is NOT able to directly accept food, clothing, other donations or volunteers at this time.

Entergy
Entergy estimates that approximately 9,400 Orleans Parish residents are currently without power. Crews are working around the clock and expect to have all power restored in 3 to 5 days. Tomorrow, 150 restoration workers from surrounding areas will assist in recovery efforts.

Customers are encouraged to go to www.entergy.com to sign up for text messages.  Residents may call 1-800-9OUTAGE to report outages or downed power lines.

School Closures
·       Martin Luther King Elementary & High school

·       Joseph A. Craig Charter School

·       ReNew Schaumburg Elementary

·       Einstein Sherwood Forest Elementary

·       Einstein Campus

·       Einstein High School


Transportation
The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) in New Orleans East has been greatly impacted by the tornado and a number of detours are in place. The detours are as follows:

·       Bus Route 64-LakeForest
Outbound Vehicles travelling farther into the eastern neighborhoods toward Michoud will depart from Walmart make a U-turn to I-10 East, continue to 510, busses will exit at Chef Menteur Hwy. and return to regular route from this point.

Inbound vehicles travelling toward downtown will depart Michoud, travel to Chef Menteur Hwy to 510, continue to I-10 West to Bullard exit then take a left on Bullard to Walmart and return to regular route.

No service will be provided on Bullard between Lake Forest and Chef Menteur Highway at this time.

·       Bus Route 65-Crowder/Read Boulevards
Outbound Vehicles travelling farther into the eastern neighborhoods toward Michoud will depart from Walmart make a U-turn to I-10 East, continue to 510, busses will exit at Chef Menteur Hwy. and return to regular route from this point.

Inbound vehicles travelling toward downtown will depart Michoud, travel Chef  Menteur Hwy to 510, continue to I-10 West to Bullard exit  then take a left on Bullard to Walmart  and return to regular route.

No service will be provided on Bullard between Lake Forest and Chef Menteur Highway at this time.

·       Bus Route 94-Broad Street
Service will terminate at Chef Menteur and Chantilly Drive.

No service will be provided between intersection of Chef Menteur/Chantilly to intersection of Chef  Menteur/Michoud.

·       RTA Shuttle Service to shelter at Joe Brown Park:
RTA is providing shuttle service to the shelter in Joe Brown Park for residents without transportation.
Pick up points for Shelter Shuttle Service are as follows:

o   Dwyer Road and Wilson Avenue
o   Dwyer Road and Crowder Boulevard
o   Dwyer Road and Wright Road
RTA does have a Paratransit vehicle available if needed for residents requiring special transit services. For more information visit us online at www.norta.com or call our customer care Rideline at 504-248-3900.

Other City Services
Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans has dispatched several crews to New Orleans East to assess tornado-related damages to homes and businesses. Currently, seventeen sewer pump stations are being transitioned to generator power so they can be up and running tonight.  This power outage had no effect on the Carrollton Water Plant, which supplies the city's tap water. The city's water is safe to drink.

Calls for downed trees, street lights, street signs and other matters should be directed to 311.

Short Term and Long Term Housing
The Red Cross in partnership with other service providers will be on site at Joe Brown Park to take initial assessments for short term and long term housing needs.

Volunteers & Donations
Residents looking to support ongoing relief & recovery efforts are encouraged to contact one of the organizations below.  Additional information on donation drives and volunteer opportunities will be shared as received. Again, the shelter at Joe Brown Park is NOT able to accept food, clothing, other donations or volunteers at this time.
·       The Greater New Orleans Foundation has activated the Helping Our Neighbors: Tornado Relief.  Donations can be made online at https://www.gnof.org/helping-our-neighbors-tornado-relief-fund/.
·       United Way of Southeast Louisiana is accepting monetary donations & seeking volunteers.  More information can be found at: http://www.unitedwaysela.org/tornadorelief.

READY.NOLA.GOV
Citizens are encouraged to sign up for email and text message alerts by going to http://ready.nola.gov. This service allows city officials to contact citizens during emergencies, which includes life-threatening weather events, evacuation or shelter in place information, and other pertinent emergency information. In addition to the website, the City operates a twitter handle:  @nolaready.

(© 2017 WWL)


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