City urges residents to make plans as forecasters predict average season in 2023

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 5:58 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2023 at 11:49 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Hurricane season begins June 1, and city officials say 90% of all pumps are in working order, but one power-generating turbine, needed to power some pumps, is out of service. They urge residents to make plans, as weather forecasters predict an average hurricane season.

City officials urge everyone to have an evacuation plan, a go bag, ready to go, and to sign up for weather alerts on They also say they expect between 12 and 17 named storms this year in the Atlantic basin, including the Gulf of Mexico.

“We have El Nino, which could prevent some Atlantic activity, but seawater temperature in the Gulf is very high, and that doesn’t have anything to do with what can form in the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean, and we need to be prepared for it,” said New Orleans Director of Homeland Security Collin Arnold.

The Orleans Sewerage And Water Board says seven of its 99 pumps are down, as is turbine four, which generates power for pumps, but they say that turbine should be back by early July.

“We have also added additional generators to avoid any flooding in that facility,” said Sewerage and Water Board director Ghassan Korban.

The Corps also says repairs have been made on deteriorating pumps at the outfall canals, and all 17 are now in service.

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If mandatory evacuations are needed, the city says neither the Superdome nor the Smoothie Ling Center will be used as shelters. Still, evacuees can gather at any of the 17 evacuation statues across the city to get transportation out of town.

“Smoothie King Center is our evacuation point. We have power at several NORD facilities, and the Convention Center are possibilities for medical and vulnerable population sheltering,” said Arnold.

The city is also taking new steps to hold operators of dozens of assisted living centers accountable for residents, who, in the past, we left unattended during storms.

“Facilities must provide the name of the responsible point of contact who will be on-site during disasters,” said city health director Dr. Jennifer Avegno.

Assisted living center operators must also provide a roster of their residents and a list of those with special needs, as they urge families to look out for their loved ones and neighbors.

“There are 67 facilities that meet this criteria, and of those, 55 have submitted their application, and 44 are in full compliance,” said Avegno.

The city’s health director says documentation is due this week, and they are now working with those who have not gotten into compliance in submitting the required documents.

After problems getting alerts out to the city’s growing Spanish-speaking population, city officials say they have hired a communications specialist to address those problems.

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