NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Gert town residents are suing the City of New Orleans claiming they knew about hazardous radioactive material underneath their neighborhood’s streets since 2013 and took no action to warn or protect them.
Earlier this month, city spokesman Beau Tidwell said the Cantrell administration learned about “an anomaly” involving radioactive material underground near the area surrounding Lowerline Street and Coolidge Court shortly after Mayor Latoya Cantrell took office last year. However, Tidwell said the previous administration learned about the issue in 2013, during the planning stages of the Super Bowl.
Tidwell said Cantrell’s team took immediate action to asses the issue, but still, work did not get underway in the neighborhood until now -- practically six years after it was first found.
The origin of the radiation is unknown, Tidwell said, but it has been since been properly contained and is being identified. Out of an abundance of caution, Tidwell said the contained material was removed from the area.
While neighbors are claiming to be completely blindsided by the issue, the City said they made multiple attempts to contact and inform residents who were likely to be impacted by the remediation work.
The lawsuit filed last week, however, states that residents have been very alarmed and have experienced emotional distress regarding their exposure to radioactive materials.
FOX 8 reached out to the city about the lawsuit Tuesday (June 18), but the city said it will have no further comment at this time as the matter is now under active litigation.