Now that Hurricane Sally has moved eastward and threats from the storm have dramatically decreased in likelihood, officials in New Orleans are exhaling a bit.
“It’s been a long year,” New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) Director Colin Arnold said of the city’s ongoing efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 while also dealing with multiple tropical systems.
“I know there’s an element of fatigue out there,” he said during a Tuesday morning press conference, “but everyone in this city responds and rises to the occasion. And that's so important because, you know, we could be facing 30 inches of rain and we’re not right now.”
Mayor LaToya Cantrell thanked people for taking preparations seriously and heeding the advice of city officials, but urged residents to stay weather-aware.
“Although everything looks brighter for our city, we’re not out of the woods and we’re not letting our guards down at all,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said at a press conference Tuesday morning.
Arnold said NOHSEP would continue to monitor Sally’s progress until it makes landfall, especially since its path has been slow and somewhat “wobbly.”
Officials will now turn their attention to opening up city services. The RTA will resume full service, except ferries, at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
City Hall will reopen Wednesday morning, and New Orleans public schools will resume distance learning Wednesday as well. Arnold said an official announcement from NOLA-PS would come later today.
Garbage collection will also resume Wednesday, and the trash collection that was canceled Tuesday will be made up for on Friday.
Neutral ground parking restrictions will resume at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Hurricane Sally weakened to a Category 1 storm over the Gulf of Mexico overnight, and Southeastern Louisiana is no longer under a hurricane watch.
As of the 7 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, there is still a tropical storm warning from the mouth of the Pearl River westward to Grand Isle Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas and metropolitan New Orleans. There's a storm surge warning for the mouth of the Mississippi River to the Okaloosa-Walton County Line in Florida and Mobile Bay.
Hurricane conditions are still expected Tuesday along the Mississippi-Alabama coast. A hurricane warning is in effect from the mouth of the Mississippi River to the Okaloosa-Walton County Line Florida and Mobile Bay.
Sally is still "meandering" slowly over the Gulf. It was about 65 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River at 7 a.m. with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. The storm will pass near the coast of Southeast Louisiana today and make landfall on the Mississippi-Alabama coast Wednesday morning.
The latest rainfall map shows less than an inch predicted for Louisiana. Flash flood warnings have been lifted.