The City of New Orleans is bracing for the arrival of what’s expected to be Hurricane Isaac, expected to make landfall near the city. Officials say the city is protected by a new and improved levee system.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu says residents should be prepared to leave the city, or shelter at home with lots of emergency supplies. He says there is no plan to offer shelter at the last minute.
“Neither the airport, nor the Superdome, nor the Convention Center is going to be an emergency or a shelter of last resort,” Landrieu said at a press conference Sunday afternoon.
View the full press conference:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Ed Fleming says the new barriers offer the city the best protection it’s ever seen.
“We will reach the triggers to close the surge barrier out at Lake Borgne, as well as the West Closure Complex on the West Bank, as well as the Seabrook gate at the head of the Industrial Canal where it meets the lake.”
Maritime traffic will be allowed only northbound on the Mississippi River. The city's Sewerage and Water Board will have pump operators working, as well as others to protect the drinking supply and sewer system.
Police Chief Ronal Serpas says his officers are ready for handling emergency calls.
“3-1-1 will be open non-stop throughout the remainder of this event so that you can call and report downed lines, down traffic signals, whatever it might be. Life threatening: 9-1-1. Otherwise please don’t tie up the 9-1-1 system.”
Landrieu says the brunt of the storm is expected late Tuesday or early Wednesday.