It’s time to be vigilant.

Rain fell this morning at a near record rate in the Greater New Orleans area and caused massive flooding that spared no neighborhood. According to New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board director, Ghassan Korban, heavy rains fell at a rate that the already antiquated pumps could not keep up with; although, 118 out of 120 pumps were functioning during this unusual rain event.

Unfortunately, today’s weather event was merely a small taste of the type of major flooding that residents and businesses should expect this weekend. The National Weather Service has indicated that Tropical Storm/ Hurricane Barry will form in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of Tropical Invest 92L. The storm will likely produce heavy rainfall, flash flooding, coastal and river flooding, strong winds and the possibility of tornadoes beginning tomorrow.

As a result, Governor John Bel Edwards has already issued a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm that could dump as much as 15 inches of rain in the state over the coming days. This afternoon Mayor Cantrell joined the Governor in declaring a state of emergency for the City of New Orleans, due to the extreme weather that’s expected.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been in a flood fight with the Mississippi River over the past several days. The already swollen river is expected to rise further, as several inches of rain will fall on an already saturated city. Once the winds pick up, the storm surge will be an additional concern. Forecasters are predicting three to five feet of storm surge going into the weekend. This means some of the lower Mississippi River levees could see some overtopping – something that has never happened in the city’s modern history.

It’s time to be vigilant.

Being prepared before any rain event or storm is crucial:

  • Make an evacuation plan for all family members, particularly those with special needs and pets
  • Gather emergency supplies
  • Ensure your storms drains and catch basins are clean
  • Stay connected by signing up for Nola Ready Alerts
  • Report any infrastructure damage to 311 immediately
  • Ensure your property is prepared for flood and wind damage
  • Do not try to drive any vehicles unless you know for certain that you can travel to a safe location

Please pay close attention to media advisories, while we are in this heightened state of caution. The safety of our residents is paramount to all else. Be conscientious of surrounding homes and businesses should you drive through standing water, as a small wake can cause additional flooding. As neighbors, let’s look after one another.