METAIRIE, LA — Homeland security and emergency response teams from around southeast Louisiana are urging people to be prepared in the event Subtropical Storm Alberto has a significant impact on the area.
In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell is asking neighbors to clear their gutters and the catch basins near their homes. The mayor also says that people can park their cars on the neutral ground beginning at 7:00 Saturday morning. But those cars cannot block intersections or streetcar tracks. The city has not, at this point, decided when the cars will have to be removed. The Sewerage and Water Board says 115 of its 120 pumps are ready. Also, the S&WB says that with the city’s turbines and backup generators, there is more than enough power available to run the pumps. The NOPD says it will cite people who drive cars faster than 5mph on roads with standing water.
In Jefferson Parish, workers are fueling up any equipment that could be required in an emergency response or rescue. Crews are ready to man the parish’s 69 pump stations — with 184 pumps — should the need arise.
In Saint Charles Parish, residents can get sandbags at four locations beginning at noon on Saturday. But they must bring their own shovels. Those locations are:
- East Bank Bridge Park, 13244 River Road Destrehan, LA 70047
- West Bank Bridge Park, 13825 River Road Luling, LA 70070
- Bayou Gauche, LA 306 at Badeaux Lane East
- Twin Bridge Road and Down the Bayou Road
In Saint James Parish, parish officials are monitoring the weather conditions and are urging residents to remove any debris from their yards, catch basins and storm drains. They’re also asking people to avoid placing any kind of debris in ditches, drainage canals, or along the side of roads as they could impede drainage or become projectiles in a high wind situation.
In Baton Rouge, along with cleaning and preparing their property, Governor John Bel Edwards is reminding people that this weekend is the Louisiana Tax Discount Weekend for Hurricane Supplies. People can buy up to $1,500 in hurricane supplies with a discounted state tax of 3% instead of the usual 5%. The items eligible for the reduced tax rate include:
- Any portable self-powered light source, including candles, flashlights and other articles of property designed to provide light;
- Any portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio;
- Any tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting;
- Any ground anchor system or tie-down kit;
- Any gas or diesel fuel tank;
- Any package of AAA-cell, AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6 volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries;
- Any cell phone battery and any cell phone charger;
- Any nonelectric food storage cooler;
- Any portable generator used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage;
- Any storm shutter device;
- Any carbon monoxide detector; and
- Any reusable freezer pack such as “blue ice.”
In Saint Bernard Parish, the Lake Borgne Levee District has tested its 3 highway floodgates and one railroad floodgate to make sure they’re functioning properly. They’re urging people to make sure they have important supplies like flashlights, first aid kits, and basic tools ready to go. Also, just as a precaution, the parish suggests people take photographs of important documents like mortgage and insurance papers.
This list could be updates as additional information is available. Please check with your parish or local municipality government to get any additional information on the Alberto response.