NEW ORLEANS - After the City of New Orleans announced its ladder sweep Tuesday, many residents are still puzzled about the move.
Eyewitness News spoke with shoppers at a hardware store in Uptown where Mardi Gras ladders may soon be a hot item.
"Yes, we're selling the ladders and also, people buy all kinds of things to build costumes," Scott Fox, the manager at Harry's Ace Hardware, said.
Fox is bracing for a possible ladder rush after the city began enforcing its rule barring ladders and personal items placed along parade routes earlier than 24 hours in advance.
"I know they were just trying to take care of them in advance and unfortunately the city decided to follow the ordinance," Fox said.
While the rule is not new, it hasn't been thoroughly enforced by the city in recent years, which is why so many were surprised. Since the sweep on Tuesday, it's been hotly discussed on social media. Some take issue with the city's priorities, while others are adding humor to the situation.
Breax Mart wrote on Twitter, "Who put all the ladders in our dumpster?"
Another Twitter user going by the name, Swiper Le'Sauce posted a funny side-eye at the question where the removed ladders could be found.
However, despite the discussion, the city only removed seven ladders and six pieces in the sweep. It says citizens who saw the workers coming helped to push 75 ladders back onto private property so they would not be taken away.
Back at Harry's Ace Hardware customers were still shaking their heads over the removal.
"They should have given them a warning or a notice or say hey you can't have your ladders out," Joseph Slayden said.
Slayden lives near the parade route on Napoleon Avenue. He just happened to be picking up an extra ladder for parade viewing when Eyewitness News met him. Though he’s surprised, he understands.
"24 hours is usually the window when you want to see all that kind of stuff because it gets in the way, you got to think about safety and all that."
Fox says he's puzzled too and added that he still has plenty of ladders ready for anyone who lost theirs.
"In my 13 years here we've never completely sold out," Fox said.
The City also told Eyewitness News, all the ladders removed were taken to a facility not accessible to the public, thus will not be given back.