Schools will be closed. Public buildings, too. Pump stations are manned. All eyes look west.
On the 12th anniversary Hurricane Katrina Tuesday (Aug. 29), New Orleans is shutting down. Not to concentrate on the memories that devastating storm left behind, but to prepare for what Tropical Storm Harvey may bring.
"The closer we get to the 29th, everybody in New Orleans knows your heart beats a little faster, your palms a little bit sweatier," City Councilman Jason Williams said Monday. "And all of the devastation that we've seen on the TVs and in the paper has only exacerbated that."
The first taste of Harvey came Monday afternoon (Aug. 28) when substantial rain bands came through southeast Louisiana, leading to street flooding in some sections of the city.
"Pray for our neighbors in Houston, and take care of your neighbors at home."
Officials are expecting another 5 to 10 inches of rain to fall on New Orleans in the coming days.
"This storm, according to the National Weather Service, has everything bad about it that you could want in a storm," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. "It's hung around way too long and its overstayed the unwelcome nature it's had since the beginning."
Henderson Lewis Jr., superintendent of New Orleans' public schools, ordered classes canceled for Tuesday. Landrieu closed all government offices, asking that everyone stay off the streets as much as possible to give emergency crews free rein and to limit passing vehicles from pushing standing water into homes, businesses and other automobiles.