Breaking News
More () »

What's that smell? New Orleans East residents complain of lingering pungent odor

It's reportedly so strong at some points, residents feel forced to stay indoors to avoid it.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans East residents have been calling police, their councilmember, and even the coroner to figure out what's causing such a pungent smell that's been lingering for weeks now.

"It just was horrible. Something died, something's dead," Dewayne Hamilton said.

It's reportedly so strong at some points, residents feel forced to stay indoors to avoid it.

"The odor was just overwhelming and pungent. It smells like raw sewerage, that's what it smells like," Robert Moore said.

The smell seems to be coming from the Chef Menteur Highway and Wright Road area. That's where residents smell it most frequently and where dozens of buzzards are circling the wooded area.

"It's flesh rotting, it's that type of smell," Wendell Pierre said.

No one can seem to figure out where the strong, unpleasant odor is coming from.

"It's awful and my problem is I'm wondering whether or not it creates a health situation. It smells like raw sewerage like going directly behind a garbage truck," Moore said.

The smell seems to spread all across the area.

"I know from Read and Chef you can smell it all the way past Bullard," Pierre said.

There are dozens of buzzards seen circling the wooded area off Chef Menteur Highway.

"Good bit of buzzards, like 50, 75 of them. That's a good bit of birds for one dead animal. It’s something going on over there," Pierre said.

Pierre searched the area himself last week to try and figure it out. There wasn't a pungent smell Thursday afternoon, but Pierre said it comes and goes.

"You smell it when you get a south wind coming in. When it comes in its strong, you want to retreat back in inside the house because it's that bad," Pierre said.

"It's so intense my wife woke me up two mornings ago like if I had something in the attic," Hamilton said. "My wife had me call the plumber exterminator people. That wasn't the problem."

Hamilton first noticed the smell Mardi Gras week. He got out his drone to try and figure out what it was but his drone hit a wire and broke.

"We assume it's a dead body. We called police several times different neighbors," Hamilton said.

We reached out to NOPD who told us they received several calls about the smell last month. The NOPD teamed up with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries who flew a drone several hours to locate the cause of the smell but they did not find anything.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said they received an odor complaint Thursday morning. They sent out a responder out who did not find the odor.

Without any answers, people are left wondering how long the smell will linger.

Click here to report a typo.


► Get breaking news from your neighborhood delivered directly to you by downloading the new FREE WWL-TV News app now in the IOS App Store or Google Play.



Before You Leave, Check This Out