NEW ORLEANS — The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for parts of southeast Louisiana as winter storms are set to bring Arctic air and icy conditions to the area through Tuesday.
Forecasters say heavy freezing rain or sleet is expected across Louisiana on Monday to bring significant impacts. Areas north and west of Bogalusa to Hammond to Pierre Part will see the most severe impacts.
After the rain ends, even colder air will arrive tonight producing dangerously cold wind chill values as low as 5 degrees overnight into Tuesday morning.
These wind chills could result in hypothermia or frostbite if precautions are not taken. Use caution while traveling outside. Wear appropriate clothing, a hat, and gloves.
DOTD Update: EMERGENCY ROAD CLOSURE: LA 441 between LA 440 and LA 38 is currently impassable, due to icy conditions and power lines over the roadway. This notice will be updated as conditions change.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises motorists that US 90 between LA 24 in Gray and LA 20 near Donner has been REOPENED effective immediately.
As of 8 p.m., Cleco Power has restored electricity to over 90 percent of the 11,110 customers who lost power due to the winter storm.
Power Outages as of 8 p.m.:
- DeSoto – Less than 5 customers
- Iberia – 625 customers
- Rapides – Less than 5 customers
- St. Martin – 20 customers
- St. Mary – 186 customers
- St. Tammany – 95 customers
- Vernon – 5 customers
- Washington – 5 customers
DOTD is reporting LA 22 Bridge over Tickfaw River in Killian is now open.
RTA UPDATE: All bus and streetcar service will continue operating on a Saturday schedule as long as weather conditions allow.
The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is suspending ferry service along the Algiers Point-Canal Street and Lower Algiers-Chalmette ferry routes due to ice on the landing barges. Service will suspend at 6:00 pm tonight until conditions improve to safely resume.
Cleco has asked residents to conserve energy by lowering the thermostat to avoid possible rolling blackouts.
Louisiana Dept. of Health is reporting first storm-related death:
Entergy currently reporting outages:
- Jefferson- 3,422
- Orleans- 357
- E. Baton Rouge (L)- 48,359
- Livingston- 10,915
- Ascension- 5,128
- Tangipohoa- 10,205
According to LA DOTD, I-55 from Laplace to Ponchatoula has been reopened.
Check the status of arriving and departing flights at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.
Entergy Louisiana is asking customers to voluntarily reduce electricity usage until further notice.
Around 2,600 customers in Jefferson Parish are without power according to Entergy's outage map, roughly a quarter of the approximately 10,000 left in the dark earlier Monday.
On the northshore, only a few hundred were without power Monday afternoon according to Cleco's outage map.
Even as temperatures rebound slightly in the early afternoon, roads throughout Southeast Louisiana remain closed because of the current dangerous conditions and the dip back down below freezing that is expected in the late afternoon or early evening.
Lafourche Parish has instituted a parish-wide curfew from 8 p.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Tuesday because of the dangerous weather.
The curfew is mandatory for all parish residents.
Cleco says more than 10,000 without power statewide
Beauregard – 26 customers
Evangeline – Less than 5 customers
Iberia – 6,430 customers
Rapides – 191 customers
Sabine – 9 customers
St. Landry – 6 customers
St. Martin – 456 customers
St. Mary – 2,360 customers
St. Tammany – 185 customers
Washington – 467 customers
Ghassan Korban, the head of S&WB, said that the utility does not have much of a margin for error with little backup power.
There is a chance New Orleans will be put under a citywide boil water advisory if there are major water main breaks from the freezing water.
City officials have opened locations for the homeless population in New Orleans, and are asking anybody trying to help people experiencing homelessness to NOT provide tents or sleeping bags, because they can accumulate water.
Because of the cold, those tents and sleeping bags that usually keep the cold out can create life-threatening conditions inside as the water freezes.
Instead, those looking to help can assist those in need with getting to a shelter, or by calling 311 so that the city can get them indoors.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell held a press conference, asking people to stay inside and stay warm during the storm.
City leaders say they are prepared for the storm, but asked residents of the city to stay inside from 3 p.m. Monday to around noon Tuesday because of dangerous road conditions and sleet throughout the metro area.
Although there is no accumulation forecast for the metro area, any water on the roads will likely freeze come late afternoon, as temperatures dip below freezing throughout much of Southeast Louisiana.
The northshore appears to be taking on more of the coldest weather from the storm, with ice and sleet reported in cities throughout St. Tammany Parish.
This is the coldest weather Southeast Louisiana has felt in three years, since a similarly-timed storm in 2018.
It is also set to be one of the coldest Mardi Gras days on record. The current record was set in 1899, with temperatures in the 20s. WWL-TV's meteorologists think this year might be on track to dethrone it.
You can see the latest list of confirmed road closures here:
The NWS says power outages and tree damage are likely due to the ice. Travel could be nearly impossible and will affect morning and evening commutes. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of emergency. Slow down and use caution while traveling. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5-1-1.
LIVE TRAFFIC UPDATES: the WWL-TV Traffic Center
A hard freeze warning extends for most of southeast Louisiana until noon on Tuesday. Frost and freeze conditions could damage unprotected outdoor pipes and kill sensitive plants.