Mitch Landrieu, Mike Yenni give update on Orleans, Jefferson boil water advisories

NEW ORLEANS - Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni both urged residents of their respective parishes to conserve water amid widespread boil water advisories.

Advisories were issued for the east bank of Orleans Parish and the east bank of Jefferson Parish this morning after prolonged cold weather caused drops in water pressure in both parishes.

Landrieu urged Orleans Parish residents in the affected area to limit water usage across the board while the advisories continue.

“We are strongly urging residents to help relieve pressure on the system by only using water in situations where it’s absolutely necessary,” Landrieu said.

Running dishwashers and washing clothes right now will put an extra strain on the system, Landrieu said.

Yenni called this morning’s boil water advisory “unprecedented,” noting that the last advisory in Jefferson Parish occurred in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“Our system on a normal day can produce a maximum of 50 million gallons of water,” Yenni said. “For the peak of this event, we have produced 72 million.”

The water pressure had to be lowered to about 45 psi last night “due to extensive breaks throughout the system,” Yenni said.

Repairs are expected to take two to three days, with the boil water advisory expected to last just as long.

Interstate 10 through Jefferson Parish should reopen by noon, and the remaining exits on the West Bank Expressway should also reopen by noon, Yenni said.

East Jefferson General Hospital tapped into their well system last night once it was determined that water could not get above the fifth floor, Yenni said.

Ochsner Medical Center on Jefferson Highway has been handing out bottled water to patients today, and they will be turning to their own well system soon.

Emergency services, including dialysis centers are fully functioning as of this morning in Orleans Parish, but anyone needing dialysis this afternoon should call the center first to make sure they are open.