SWBNO to Suspend Water Shut-Offs On Urging of City Councilmembers

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The New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board (SWBNO) has announced that they will suspend water service shut-offs for the duration of mayor LaToya Cantrell’s declared emergency in response to COVID-19. The utility will also work proactively to restore water service to residents who have been disconnected.

“At the core of our mission is to keep New Orleans safe and healthy,” said SWBNO Executive Director Ghassan Korban. “Washing your hands and keeping clean is a first line of defense against coronavirus, and so we want to ensure all our residents have acess to clean water.”

SWBNO will begin restoring service to residents currently without water service, beginning with the most recent shut-offs. They also plan to prioritize seniors or customers who call to inform the utility that they have a chronic medical condition.

In addition, SWBNO is encouraging all customers to make their payments via phone by calling 52-WATER (504.529.2837) rather than visiting a customer service center. Due to the expected high call volume, customers are asked to remain patient during the process. The utility has also suspended the fees for online payments.

The New Orleans City Council Utilities Committee has urged all utilities in New Orleans, including Entergy and Cox Communications, in addition to SWBNO to suspend all shutoffs for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

In other COVID-19 related news:

  • Disney is closing it’s Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California
  • NASCAR has announced races will continue but without spectators
  • NCAA has canceled the rest of the season
  • MLB will move the season opening back by two weeks
  • Senator Lindsey Graham entered self-quarantine

Jenn Bentley is a freelance journalist based in New Orleans specializing in politics and social justice issues. In 2019, she was given the title of “Most Fearless” by The Bayou Brief. Follow her on Twitter: @JennBentley_

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