Update: City Hall and NOPD clarified the start of the curfew will be moved up from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Nate's forecast as of 4 p.m. Oct. 6
Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced a curfew for New Orleans residents to stay off the streets from 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 through Sunday morning — and possibly later — to avoid potential wind damage and floodwaters from Tropical Storm Nate, which is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane over the weekend. "Do the best you can to stay off the streets," Landrieu said at a City Hall press conference Oct. 6.
New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) will enforce that curfew; NOPD Chief Michael Harrison urged residents to "adhere to that curfew."
At that time, NOPD will set up barricades and close all underpasses. City officials told residents to find alternate routes. NOPD announced that officers will take "strong enforcement action against anyone found circumventing barricades or found in violation of curfew." Once winds go above 35 mph, the city will suspend public transit.
The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane warning for the area. Landrieu also ordered evacuations for Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine and Irish Bayou, as areas outside levees could see a storm surge of 6 to 9 feet. Officials in Plaquemines Parish, Grand Isle and Jean Lafitte also ordered evacuations.
Nate is expected to bring 3 to 6 inches of rain to New Orleans over the weekend with high winds. City officials reminded residents to have a plan in place, protect pets and check on neighbors, and prepare to be without power for up to seven days.
"Keep yourself safe, hunker down, and get through the storm safely," said New Orleans Fire Department Chief Tim McConnell.
Landrieu said 109 of 120 Sewerage & Water Board (S&WB) drainage pumps are operational, and interim director Paul Rainwater said the agency now is prepared to share real-time data from the pumps to S&WB offices.
Residents can park on neutral grounds and sidewalks (but not block intersections, train tracks or streetcar tracks). Officials urged people to avoid driving through flooded streets and standing water.