UPDATE (7 p.m.):
New Orleans boil water order is lifted for the east bank west of the Industiral Canal and the Lower 9th Ward, officials said at a news conference Friday evening.
An update from NOLA Ready said bacteriological tests confirmed that water in the area is safe to drink and can be used for personal needs.
The boil water order is still in effect for New Orleans East, Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine and Irish Bayou. Officials hope the boil water order for those areas will be able to be lifted some time this weekend.
Water pressure citywide is still recovering and remains below normal levels, and residents are encouraged to continue conserving water, repairing broken pipes and reporting leaks.
More to come.
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Water pressure is "steadily rising" through New Orleans' East Bank, as well as Jefferson Parish, but residents are still in for a wait until boil water advisories can be lifted.
Adequate pressure exists for testing to begin, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said during a press conference Friday, but it will take at least 24 hours for results to come in.
Landrieu added that residents are requested to continue to limit water usage. Testing has not begun in New Orleans East, but repairs continue and pressure is expected to normalize in the near future.
Mayor Landrieu says the city has been in communication with tourism officials to apprise them of the city's progress in addressing the problem. Says "Mother Nature always wins;" points out that other parishes across the state dealing with same.— Jessica Williams (@jwilliamsNOLA) January 19, 2018
"I want to urge everyone to continue to work with us as a team," Landrieu said.
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In Jefferson Parish, the system was fully pressurized by Friday morning, and testing was underway, parish officials said.
A boil water advisory, the first for the East Bank in Jefferson Parish since 2005, is automatically triggered when pressure drops low enough for contaminants to potentially enter the pipes. It takes at least 24 hours before the water can be deemed safe.
“I would like to say sometime Saturday, we should be able to lift our boil order and get back to normal in Jefferson Parish,” Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni said in an interview with WWL-TV. It was reported earlier in the day that 72 broken water pipes had been fixed on the East Bank.
On Saturday, all Jefferson Parish libraries will open at their regularly scheduled operating times, while Jefferson Parish Parks and Recreation activities will take place as normally scheduled, officials said early Friday.
Kenner's Krewe of Driftwood parade will also take place as normally scheduled, parish officials said. The Alario Center in Westwego, and the East Bank and West Bank Animal Shelters will operate at normal times.
The New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board reported at least five broken water mains. It was not immediately clear Friday whether all five had been repaired.
However, S&WB Interim Director Marcie Edwards said that 152 leaks in pipes connecting to city properties were in the queue to be serviced, and 40 of those had been fixed as of Friday morning.
Overall, the city has received more than 600 calls for service to faulty pipes, S&WB spokesman Rich Rainey said.
After three days in winter’s icy grip, southeast Louisiana began to thaw out on Thursday, leaving behind busted pipes and broken mains that co…
Problems with low water pressure began in both parishes Wednesday evening. New Orleans East dipped below 15 pounds per square inch. Also that night, Jefferson Parish warned that its system was being overtaxed and pressure was beginning to drop.
By Thursday morning, the full east banks of both parishes were under advisories that urged residents to boil water for a full minute before consuming it. Those without health issues can still shower, bathe or brush their teeth, but they are urged to avoid swallowing any unboiled water.
The water issues led to school being closed for another day; officials said they were hopeful schedules could return to normal by Monday. Read more here.
Issues also affected Louis Armstrong International Airport, where many bathrooms were closed and replaced with portable toilets, and food options were limited. Airport officials said pressure had been restored Thursday evening and restrooms and the facility's heating system were back up and running.
Area medical facilities were also impacted.
New Orleans area restaurants and hotels had difficulties accommodating guests, with some closing outright. Read more here.
Landrieu said his team has been in "constant communication" with the tourism industry leaders. "It's obviously a hardship, on restaurants and on tourists as well," he said. "It would be great if freezes didn't happen like this, but they do."
He also pointed out that New Orleans was not alone: About 858,500 people in 28 parishes were under a boil-water advisory by the end of the day Thursday, roughly 62 percent of them in Orleans or Jefferson, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Fire Department - bereft of fire hydrants that spout out large quantities of water at high pressures to put out flames - sent for huge water tankards to be used in case of emergency. No fires have been reported, Fire Chief Tim McConnell said.
Asked whether the pressure issues might also pose problems for sprinkler systems in office and apartment buildings, McConnell said those systems often use water at low pressures to put out flames in targeted areas, which doesn't pose a huge threat to the system.
With most ice melted by Friday from major roads and highways, the New Orleans Police Department said no vehicluar accidents had been reported.
So you're under a boil water advisory?
The main problems facing both water systems are oddly connected: residents running their taps to avoid having their pipes burst and the inevitable leaks and gushers on both private and public property that occurred anyway when pipes broke.
With the below-freezing temperatures gone south of the lake, officials in both parishes urged residents and businesses to shut off the taps and focus on reporting any leaks they see.
The S&WB’s Carrollton water plant pumped 177 million gallons of water on Thursday, 42 million more than normal, Edwards said. While the plant itself was able to keep up with that demand, water gushing from broken pipes throughout the system — which already loses 40 percent of the water it transports on a typical day — created the problems, she said.
If the cold is too much for you in New Orleans right now, don’t look for sympathy in Syracuse, New York.
Check back for more.