New Orleans gets special security clearance in advance of Trump visit

Updated: Jan. 10, 2020 at 3:47 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Officials with the National Championship game, confirm, that President Trump will be coming to attend monday night’s LSU Clemson game at the Superdome.

The Department of Homeland Security has given New Orleans special security status which should clear the way for additional federal resources to keep the city safe.

Security around the Superdome and Woldenberg Park was already tight for this weekends National Championship events, but it’s getting tighter, now that CFP officials confirm, Trump is coming.

“We’ve been in constant communication with our federal partners, and we are embedded in our EOC,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

The Homeland Security has given the city what's called 'Sear 2' status. That's one of the highest special event security ratings, and could spur extra security, and reimbursements to the city.

"Our real time crime center will be active, and federal authorities will be embedded to provide reseach and analysis," said Collin Arnold, with the city's Office of Homeland Security.

Federal agencies, along with parish, and state police departments are also bringing in extra manpower.

“Louisiana State Police will deploy over 130 personnel. They will be divided between uniformed patrol, and plainclothes personnel working undercover operations,” said Col. Kevin Reeves, with Louisiana State Police.

Though the city just got ‘Sear 2’ security status a couple of days ago the local FBI special agent in charge says it has nothing to do with recent events in the Middle East.

"There are no threats right now from overseas or the homeland against the venue or the game Monday night, people can rest easy," said Bryan Vorndran, the FBI's special agent in charge in New Orleans.

Weather is a major concern, especially Saturday, but the city says if we get heavy rain, it's got nearly 100 pumps, and 86 megawats of power to keep them running.

“We continue to maintain 99 pumps, and adequate power...and we feel good about it,” said Cantrell.

Precautions are being taken at the Hard Rock collapse site.

"Obviously during bad weather, there will be no operations, and we have broken down some of our equipment," said New Orleans fire superintendent Tim McConnell.

One of the big issues, will be traffic. Canal St. remains closed around the Hard Rock site, and vehicle restrictons will go into place in the French Quarter Saturday night. Officials urge everyone to allow themselves extra time, be patient, and try to walk to your destination, if possible.

Extra police will be brought in with some officers working 12 hour shifts.

Officials urge everyone to report anything suspicious, if they see it.

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