Jun 27, 2023 - News

New Orleans prepares for "unprecedented" heat through July 4

Illustration of the sun's rays beating down on apartment buildings.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

New Orleans is facing "unprecedented" heat for this time of year, with city leaders calling it a health crisis.

Driving the news: Tuesday's "feels like" temperature, which factors in humidity, could hit 115°F, meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Slidell say.

  • An excessive heat warning is in effect until 8pm Tuesday, with more warnings expected in the coming days as the heat index is forecast to climb to possibly 119°F.
  • The intense heat could stick around through the July Fourth weekend, which is when the city hosts Essence Festival.

Why it matters: Heat can become life-threatening if proper precautions are not taken.

  • Unhoused individuals will suffer the most during this heat, so leaders are being proactive, says Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

The latest: New Orleans EMS is already seeing an increase in heat-related calls for help, leaders said at a press conference Tuesday.

  • Cooling and hydration centers are now open to the public.
  • EMS and first responders will have extra resources downtown and near Essence as the heat hits during a historically busy holiday weekend.

Zoom in: Entergy New Orleans will not disconnect on days that the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory.

  • The Sewerage and Water Board also will suspend shut-offs for delinquent accounts, leaders say.

What to do: Follow these heat safety tips from NOLA Ready when extreme heat is forecast.

  • Stay indoors in air conditioning during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Drink water.
  • Do not swim in the Mississippi River. The Coast Guard and Harbor Patrol will be patrolling and will treat you as a "person overboard."
  • NORD's pools are open, along with day-pass options at these hotel pools.

Details: The city is opening free cooling centers for residents.

  • Arthur Monday Community Center: Monday-Friday, 7am–4:30pm (1111 Newton St., Ste. 101).
  • Carrollton-Hollygrove Senior Center: Monday-Friday, 8am–4:30pm (3300 Hamilton St.).
  • Louisiana SPCA: Monday-Saturday, noon-7pm (1700 Mardi Gras Blvd).
  • OHL Sobering Center: Open 24/7 (732 N. Claiborne Ave.).
  • Algiers Courthouse: Monday-Friday, 8:30am-2:45pm (225 Morgan St., Room 209).
  • Rosenwald “Annex” Senior Building: Monday-Friday, 9am-7pm (1120 S. Broad St.).
  • NORD Annunciation Center: Monday-Friday, 9am-7pm (800 Race St.).
  • All New Orleans Public Library locations are open Monday through Saturday, except Rosa Keller and Milton H. Latter, which are closed for maintenance.

Unhoused individuals have these shelters available too:

  • Ozanam Inn has a cooling area from 5:30am–6:30pm daily (2239 Poydras St.).
  • New Orleans Women & Children's Shelter is open 9am-5pm.
  • The New Orleans Mission has a cooling site and will provide water from 10am-4pm daily.
  • Grace at the Greenlight will be open 6:30am-7:15am daily for AC and water.
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