The city of New Orleans was largely shut down Tuesday morning as residents await the arrival of freezing rain and sleet to the area.
Although ice has not begun to accumulate on city streets, residents still are encouraged not to drive or walk around in places that may freeze over. The winter weather is expected to arrive this afternoon, bringing with it concerns about traffic accidents.
City Hall is closed until Thursday. Regular garbage and recycling pickups have been suspended for Tuesday and Wednesday, the city announced Tuesday morning.
The city’s 311 information phone line, which usually operates daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will operate 24 hours a day until further notice, the city said. Residents should call for storm related information and to report non-life threatening emergencies and downed tree limbs. For downed power lines, call 911, the city said.
Also early on Tuesday, more than 2,100 Entergy restoration workers were being assembled and staged throughout the city to respond to potential power outages caused by ice on power lines and downed trees.
The Sewerage and Water Board said drainage pump stations were still 100 percent operational. The water board’s offices are closed Tuesday and Wednesday, but the call center, at 504.529.2837, remains open. The agency advised residents not to dump fats, oils, greases or other substances that might block drains down sewer pipes.