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Posted: Monday, 27 January 2014 6:43PM

Officials urge S. Louisiana residents to hunker down for 48 hours

"There is going to be ice, that's fairly thick... on all of our streets," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu insisted it will not be safe to leave your home most of Tuesday and Wednesday with nasty winter weather spreading across the area.  "We want to advise people to stay off of the roads."

Landrieu says the ice will make driving nearly impossible as the worst winter weather in a generation hits the region.

"We don't have a lot of experience in New Orleans driving on ice, and I'm guessing that we don't do it very well," Landrieu stressed it's about keeping people safe.  "Preserving life if very important."

He urged people to stock up on supplies as if they were preparing for a hurricane and get ready to hunker down for two days.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development pledged to fight the ice.

"We are going to maintain the major routes as long was we can.  This is going to be a 48 hour event," Area Engineer Fred Wetekamm said. "We know that we are going to have ice on our elevated portions of the roadway, we know that for a fact.  We have staged numerous deicing materials; salt, sand."

Landrieu pointed out however that there was no way DOTD can treat all of the roads in the region and keep them ice-free.

"It will probably be near impossible to clear all of the ice off all of the streets so that all of them a safe all of the time,"  Landrieu explained.  "The streets are going to be dangerous."

Other concerns include power outages, falling trees and limbs and freezing pipes.

The City issued the following recommendations:

 Stay Inside

    Do not drive or walk around outside until all the ice is gone
    Cancel any appointments (hair, doctor, etc.) you may have
    Wear layers, hat, and gloves
    Carry a cell phone
    Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches
    If your car gets stuck, stay in your car and call for help

Shelter In Place

    Have enough drinking water for your household for at least 48 hours (you should have 1 gallon per person per day)
    Have enough food for your family for 48 hours.  Make sure to have food you don't have to cook in the event of a power outage
    Make sure you have plenty of warm blankets
    Prepare an Emergency Kit
        Portable radio
        List of emergency phone numbers and family contact numbers
        First aid kit
        Prescription and over the counter medications
        Baby supplies such as diapers and formula
        Pet supplies
        Entertainment, like books, magazines, games, etc.
        Keep your house warmer by closing doors to rooms you are not using

Generator & Space Heater Safety

    Make sure your generator is working and that there is enough gasoline to keep it running in the event of a power outage
    Keep running generators outdoors at least 20 feet away from any buildings
    Keep heaters at least 3 feet from anything that could catch on fire
    Never place a heater on top of anything (furniture, boxes, etc.)
    Do not let children be by the space heater or in the same room as the space heater without an adult in the room
    Make sure the cord is in a safe place and won't make people trip

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If you or someone in your house loses consciousness, has a headache that won't go away, has dizziness, weakness, chest pain, or confusion, s/he may have carbon monoxide poisoning.  CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY
Freezing Pipes

    Keep a slow stream of water running from all your faucets to avoid your pipes from freezing
    Cover exposed pipes
    Open cabinets to help warm the pipes
    Use a blow dryer to unfreeze pipes

Make sure neighbors and family know to prepare for winter weather. In case of life-threatening emergencies, always call 911.


Filed Under :  
Locations : New Orleans
People : Fred WetekammMitch Landrieu
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