Power outages plagued pockets of the New Orleans area early Friday after heavy rains rolled in from the northern part of the state.
About 2,300 customers were without power in parts of Lakeview and Bayou St. John by about 9:50 a.m. Friday morning, while more than 100 homes lost power in Mid-City. About 50 customers near the Garden District lost power.
At one point, before dawn, there were more than 15,000 power outages in Jefferson Parish, most of which were in Kenner. There were another 5,800 in New Orleans.
The number of outages in Jefferson had dropped to about 3,300 by 8:15 a.m.
Otherwise, it seemed the main problems the metro New Orleans area had dealt with early Friday were street flooding and traffic accidents on slick roads. In Jefferson, Parish President Mike Yenni said a break in the rains later Friday morning had helped the street flooding to subside and the drainage pumps to catch up.
“So far, so good,” said Yenni, who nonetheless cautioned the weather was expected to worsen again later on.
The worst of Friday’s storms appear to have missed the New Orleans area, but continued moderate rainfall is still expected through Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
For now, it appears most of the heaviest rain from the system has fallen in the Pontchatoula area, where forecasters are worried about severe river flooding.
Light to moderate rain from a band stretching from New Orleans to Mobile will continue throughout the day, Shawn O’Neil, a meteorologist with the agency’s Slidell office said Friday morning. Forecasters are continuing to monitor the system, which could intensify, O’Neil said.
“The ingredients are certainly there for this to continue and set up some stronger bands,” he said.
New Orleans and its suburbs received between 1 and a half inches and 2 inches of rainfall overnight and strong wind gusts were reported in some areas early Friday morning. A 56 mph gust was recorded at Louis Armstrong International Airport about 5 a.m. and a 46 mph gust was recorded at the lakefront about 20 minutes later, O’Neil said.
The heaviest rain was recorded in Tangipahoa Parish, where 13 inches to 16 inches of rain fell overnight, O’Neil said. That’s raised concerns about river flooding at potentially record levels, O’Neil said.
The storm system is expected to remain over the New Orleans area through Saturday and could pick up later today or tomorrow, he said.
“We still have a long way to go, just because we may not have meet the rainfall expectations in a particular area doesn’t mean that we won’t before the event is over,” O’Neil said.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration urged residents to monitor weather conditions and stay alert. City Hall, New Orleans Recreation Development Commission facilities and other city facilities are expected to remain open Friday, with regular business hours.
The New Orleans Police Department will ticket motorists who drive faster than 5 mph on streets with standing water, officials said. All New Orleans pumping stations were operational Friday morning.
Things had been much worse early Friday in areas north of Lake Pontchartrain, where reportedly some 200 people in the Tangipahoa Parish community of Hammond had to be rescued from rising water. There were also reportedly high-water rescues in the Bogalusa and Mount Herman areas of Washington Parish.
Southeastern Louisiana is under a flash flood watch through at least 6 p.m. Saturday, forecasters have said.
View power outages on Entergy New Orleans’ website.