New Orleans is set for Pallas Hotel implosion

New Orleans, La. - Sunday morning around 8:00, the old Pallas Hotel will come crashing down to the ground.

Michael Smith lives in the Iberville Housing Development.  His home is about a block and a half from the implosion site. "We're not going anywhere," said Smith.

Earlier this week some residents and community activists expressed concerns that not enough had been done to protect residents of the development.  Thursday the state announced it would provide transportation and temporary shelter for people with respiratory issues.

Buses are set to arrive between 5:00 and 6:30 Sunday morning.  One will stop at the corner of Canal and Galvez.  The other will pick up residents at Iberville and Marais.

While that evacuation is optional, others weren't given an option.  People living inside the mandatory evacuation zone had to clear the area by 7:00 Saturday night.

Tremaine Nelson is headed for the La Quinta in the CBD, courtesy of the state.  Her neighbor Ebony Armstead will be staying there as well.

"Basically just stay in a hotel and relax," said Armstead.  "And hope that this blows over quickly so I can go back home."

The implosion is expected to last about eight seconds.  The dust is expected to settle in 10 to 20 minutes.  However, it could be hours before people who live in the evacuation zone are allowed to return home.

After the implosion, engineers will inspect surrounding roadways and structures to make sure they are structurally sound.

The event will cause some Sunday morning inconveniences if you're traveling the interstate. Part of I-10 will close, so expect detours.

Starting at 12:01 Sunday morning, the westbound off-ramp to Canal will be off-limits.

Then at 6:00 a.m. Sunday, police will close four on-ramps, at South Claiborne, North Claiborne, Tulane and Orleans Avenue.

Starting at 7:00 a.m., I-10 West closes at Orleans, and I-10 East will close at Highway 90/Pontchartrain Expressway.

Detour signs will be posted, but officials say it's best to avoid the area.

The area should reopen by 1:00 p.m., with the exception of the Canal Street off-ramp, which should open no later 5:00 a.m. Monday.

The state has established a hotline for residents with questions or concerns about the implosion.  It can be accessed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling (855) 592-8146.