severe weather

Entergy, the predominant utility company serving much of Southeast Louisiana, including the City of New Orleans, says its subsidiary companies have marshaled over 2,100 workers in advance of a winter storm system expected to hammer the region between Monday night and Wednesday morning.

The entire region is currently under a Winter Storm Warning, and the National Weather Service is forecasting 1–2 inches of snow and 1/4 to 1/2-inch of ice in the New Orleans metro area. Areas south of Lake Pontchartrain will see less snow and more ice accumulation as a result of the storm system.

The whole region might be encased in ice this week, but there's still time to get to your favorite local bookstore and stock up before the temperature drops and the roads close.

Here are some snow day reading choices perfect for curling up with in front of a roaring fire (or a space heater!).

— Finish up Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series with The Days of Anna Madrigal and pretend you’re in San Francisco, where there is no snow, only an ever-charming and beloved cast of characters.

Louisiana DoTD

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has released its response plan for the winter storm threatening much of the state.

The plan details the roads and bridges DOTD will attempt to keep clear. However, as all storms are dynamic events, DOTD says the following information may be adjusted depending on changing conditions.

DOTD will commit resources to keep the following roads open:

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has ordered City Hall closed tomorrow and Wednesday because of the incoming ice storm. The mayor says conditions could be the worst seen in the city for 25 years.

City of New Orleans

Mayor Landrieu and officials from city emergency services agencies provided an update Monday afternoon on the preparations underway in advance of this week's winter storm.

The storm is expected to have a severe impact on the region, shuttering businesses, schools and offices; engendering power outages; and making many roads and bridges impassible.

City residents are urged to visit the NOLA Ready emergency website for more information as it becomes available.

Louisiana DoTD

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is preparing to deal with the snow, sleet and freezing rain expected to impact the New Orleans region this week.

The DOTD said in a press release that they are planning to pretreat portions of Interstates and major traffic corridors ahead of the storm's impact. Workers are prepared to apply de-icing materials, remove fallen trees, and close roadways if necessary; however, the state does not possess enough equipment or resources to keep all the bridges in the state open through this severe weather event.

Tuesday's freezing rain and sleet closed Grambling State University early, canceled flights, sent drivers skidding and broke power lines in north Louisiana.

Police in both Shreveport and Monroe closed ramps onto Interstate 20.

Grambling sent students home at noon Tuesday but Louisiana Tech stayed open. Northwestern State canceled evening classes but said it would open Wednesday. Ouachita, Richland, East Carroll, Madison, Union, West Carroll, Morehouse parishes and Monroe city schools were closed Tuesday.

The National Weather Service says the Concordia Parish town of Clayton got 7.2 inches of rain Wednesday and Thursday.

Mayor Rydell Taylor says the town of 700 looks like a lake, and water got into six to 10 homes. Taylor says a waterworks employee carried about a dozen children across flooded yards to their school bus, and he himself carried a disabled woman to the bus that takes her to work.

Taylor says nobody has been hurt, and water levels were dropping by late Thursday morning.

Louisiana may have a day or two of sun after the storms that swamped the state, but forecasters say rivers and streams will still be high and the ground will still be soggy when the next round of rain hits over the weekend.

Christopher Bannan, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Slidell, says storms probably will start late Saturday in north Louisiana and work southward through the state Sunday and Sunday night. He says the next round of storms likely won't be as potent as those that occurred Wednesday and Thursday.

Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a statewide emergency Thursday after storms rolled across Louisiana, dumping huge amounts of rain and causing flooding in some areas.

The declaration lets Louisiana use state money to help local governments deal with flooding and storm

A slow-moving storm system dumped almost a foot of rain in some areas as it moved east, causing rivers to swell and flooding streets in some urban areas.

No injuries were reported, though authorities suspect a tornado may have been the cause of damage at an industrial plant near Baton Rouge.

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