NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Louisiana National Guard, as directed by Gov. John Bel Edwards, has mobilized approximately 650 soldiers ahead of Tropical Storm Nate to prepare for potential flooding and wind damage.
The LANG is prepositioning Guardsmen, high water vehicles and boats in Orleans, Terrebonne, St. John the Baptist, East Baton Rouge, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes. LANG Liaison officers are on duty in Terrebonne and St. John the Baptist parishes and Guardsmen are also assisting with the monitoring of the pump drainage system.
"Louisiana's Guardsmen are trained, ready and equipped to stand up at any moment to protect lives and property, maintain communications, and ensure the continuity of operations and government," according to a news release from Deputy Public Affairs Officer CPT Rebekah Malone.
Meanwhile, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other city officials held a news conference Friday afternoon to update the city's preparations for Tropical Storm Nate.
Landrieu said tropical storm-force winds between 30 and 80 mph are expected beginning Saturday. When winds hit 30-40 mph, RTA buses, flights out of Louis Armstrong Airport and NOPD and NOFD responses will cease.
A mandatory curfew begins Saturday at 7 p.m. and ends Sunday morning. The NOPD said during the curfew, residents should stay off of roadways and shelter in place, if at all possible. This includes avoiding areas where localized street flooding is common. In addition, underpasses will be barricaded beginning at 6 p.m. on Oct. 7 until the risk has passed and the underpasses have been deemed safe for travel. The city issued the following statement clarifying the conditions of the curfew:
"In anticipation of Tropical Storm Nate, the City of New Orleans will be under a curfew beginning Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. until Sunday morning once the severe weather has passed. The public is asked to shelter in place throughout the duration of the tropical weather. Individuals traveling to and from work or essential safety personnel will be allowed to travel on the streets as long as it is safe to do so. The public is advised that beyond a certain point weather conditions will make it impossible for first responders to answer emergency calls. Additionally, public transportation will be suspended once winds exceed 35mph."
The NOPD said it will take strong enforcement action against anyone found circumventing barricades or found in violation of curfew.
For continued updates on this evolving situation, visit the NOLA Ready website at http://ready.nola.gov, text NATE to 888777 and follow NOLA Ready on Facebook and Twitter.
The mayor said the Department of Public Works and contractors are continuing to clean and repair catch basins with 14 trucks and crews on the street right now. He said the S&WB and contractors are working 24/7 to restore power and repair pumps. He said 109 of 120 pumps are working and the city is at 92% capacity.
Residents should prepare for some street flooding, especially underneath underpasses. There are newly installed large placards on underpasses to warn drivers of deep water and to urge people to not drive when there is heavy rain.