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Landrieu declares state of emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Nate

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Tropical Storm Nate.

Landrieu gave a briefing Thursday afternoon and said as of now, New Orleans should prepare for heavy wind and heavy rain.

He said it could make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane. New Orleans could see three-six inches of rain starting Sunday, which is not as much as most tropical systems, but Landrieu warned that even short periods of heavy rainfall can cause localized flooding.

“Right now, there’s no reason to panic, but there’s reason to prepare,” he said. “This could potentially be more of a wind event than a rain event.”

The Sewerage and Water Board says 92 percent of the city’s pumps are working, with 108 out of 120 full operational.  Paul Rainwater, interim S&WB manager, says there is ample backup power in place for the drainage system, which has failed on several levels over the past couple of months and caused flooding in several areas of the city.

There are 14 trucks and crews working to clean catch basins throughout the city, but residents are encouraged to make sure that catch basins in front of their homes are cleared.

NOPD and first responders have boats and high-water vehicles on standby for potential flooding. NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said to expect high NOPD visibility all weekend long.

Landrieu said there are 40,000 tourists in town because of conventions. Convention and Visitors Bureau officials are working with the city to make sure the tourists stay safe.

Weekend festivals will likely be put on hold.

“We’re ready, we’re going to hunker down and get through this. We’re going to be fine,” Landrieu said. “If we stay informed, stay alert, stay prepared, ultimately we will all stay safe.”

The best way to stay informed is to follow Nola Ready on Twitter, Facebook and online.

Sandbags will be available at five locations starting at 7 a.m. Friday at the following locations:

  • 987 Robert E. Lee Blvd.
  • 2000 MLK Blvd.
  • 4115 Woodland in Algiers
  • 2118 Elysian Fields
  • 5403 Read Boulevard

Watch the full update from officials below: