Update, 5:33 p.m.: The New Orleans Fire Department is evacuating residents from property at Filmore Avenue and St. Anthony Street, where a power pole is leaning toward a building. Entergy crews are working to stabilize the power pole, officials said.
Update, 4 p.m. : Shelters are available to those in need at four locations, city officials said:
- The Salvation Army on South Claiborne Avenue near Broadmoor, which will accept men and women
- The Ozanam Inn on Camp Street in the Central Business District, which will only accept men
- Covenant House on North Rampart Street in the French Quarter, which will accept men and women between the ages of 16 and 21, their children, and any woman with children younger than 18 years old;
- The New Orleans Mission on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard near Central City, which will accept men and women.
Government buildings, schools and universities in New Orleans are shutting down this afternoon in the face of severe weather threats.
New Orleans City Hall closed at 1 p.m. and all public meetings scheduled for the afternoon were cancelled. New Orleans Recreation Development Commission facilities closed at the same time. Louisiana Workforce Commission offices in New Orleans closed at 1 p.m.
City officials are urging residents to stay inside during heavy thunderstorms.
Strong gusts of wind had already done some minor damage Tuesday afternoon. A downed utility pole missed striking a home by just a few feet in the 5900 block of St. Roch Avenue in Gentilly.
Down the street, Allison Braxton-Baehr pointed out some damaged panels on the front of her house.
“I just thank God that no one was hurt,” she said. “How bad is this going to get? This is a powerful storm.”
Emergency services will continue to operate and city officials are urging residents to report high standing water to 9-1-1. Anyone driving faster than 5 mph on flooded roads can be ticketed, as doing so can push water off the street and onto nearby properties. Officials also urge residents to secure their garbage collection cans so that contents are not blown by winds.
Garbage collection was scheduled to be completed by 1:30 p.m, though recycling was not picked up in Lakeview, officials said.
The city’s public and private schools also rushed to announce closures Tuesday morning, with some schools shutting down as early as 11 a.m.
The local Orleans Parish School Board’s six network schools closed at noon, and the majority of that board’s charter schools announced varying early dismissal times.
The exception was Robert Russa Moton Charter School in Gentilly, which will remain open until 3 p.m., though it canceled after-school activities, officials said.
The state-run Recovery School District’s charter schools all announced early closures at varying times. Some charter school boards also canceled meetings that had been scheduled for this afternoon. (See the full list of public school closures here.)
The city’s Catholic schools closed at noon, the Archdiocese of New Orleans announced. All after-school activities were canceled.
Isidore Newman’s Uptown campus closed at 12:30 p.m, school officials said, while Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans, a public French immersion charter school with three Uptown campuses, closed all locations at 12:45 p.m.
Milestone Academy, a state-authorized public charter school in Gentilly, and New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy in Algiers closed at 11:30 a.m. The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the state-authorized arts high school in the Bywater, closed at 1 p.m.
New Orleans colleges and universities all announced varying closure times, with the University of New Orleans, all campuses of Tulane University, all campuses of Delgado Community College, and Southern University at New Orleans closing at noon. Tulane urged students to take shelter in their dormitories, and non-essential personnel were urged to leave the school’s campuses. Similarly, the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s main campus, Loyola University and Xavier University shut down classes and events at 12:30 p.m., while the University of Holy Cross, Dillard University and Nunez Community College are expected to shut down at 2 p.m.
New Orleans public libraries will also shut down Tuesday afternoon. Most libraries closed at 1 p.m. but the Martin Luther King and Central City libraries closed at noon.
Finally, The Housing Authority of New Orleans meeting scheduled for this evening is canceled.