NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell held a news conference on Tuesday, Aug. 8 to discuss the ongoing extreme heat in the city.

The mayor was joined by other city leaders and public safety officials to talk about the issue.

At the meeting, Cantrell signed an emergency declaration for extreme heat in New Orleans ahead of peak hurricane season.

She said the declaration will last until Oct. 1 and will ensure that the city is able to:

  • Expand hours for nine of 15 NORDC locations to be available seven days a week until Oct. 1
  • Activate resources and personnel to support the city’s existing unhoused outreach and heat relief efforts
  • Mobilize an overnight cooling center equipped with emergency generator switch connectors for unhoused residents through Oct. 1
  • Pre-stage designated NORDC sites with generators in case of tropical weather impacts 
  • Require senior living facilities and nursing homes to report any ongoing challenges or challenges to the city on a daily basis
  • Expedite emergency repairs through emergency contracting to protect city employees, outdoor workers and first responders from the ongoing extreme heat   

City officials said the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness will maintain a City Emergency Operations Center Level III to continue monitoring the temperature daily.

Director of NOHSEP Colin Arnold said, “This emergency declaration will allow us to continue extreme heat response efforts, as well as enhance preparations ahead of peak hurricane season.” 

City officials also noted how the excessive heat has impacted the city, including that:

  • New Orleans Emergency Medical Services said that heat-related calls for service increased from a monthly average of 25 to 100 this year. 
  • The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office reported six heat-related deaths so far this year. 
  • In a five-year comparison, the New Orleans Fire Department reported a drastic increase of 24 vegetation fires for 2023, including two active marsh fires in Bayou Sauvage and Maple Ridge subdivision, compared to the previous average of 14 vegetation fires between 2019 and 2022.

They said residents can use the NOLA Ready Heat Relief Map to find free, indoor air-conditioned locations open to the public.

Watch the full conference in the video player at the top of this story.

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