Gov. Edwards Urges Residents to Prepare for Arctic Blast

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An arctic cold front is expected to bring bitter winter chill across Louisiana, including the New Orleans area on Thursday night. Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging residents to prepare and protect themselves and their property. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are expected to plummet below freezing in the New Orleans area, accompanied by blustery winds that could gust as high as 50 mph.

“I urge every Louisianan to prepare for the approaching Arctic outbreak and be ready to protect the four P’s – people, pets, plants, and pipes,” Gov. Edwards said. “Be sure to cover or insulate all exposed pipes and prepare for the possibility of cutting off your main water supply if you have a problem. And as always, please check on your friends, neighbors or family members that may struggle with these weather conditions. For information on warming stations or assistance in creating a severe weather plan, visit

The NWS predicts that once temperatures drop below freezing, they may not get above 33 degrees until Saturday afternoon at the earliest, and potentially longer. Many locations across Louisiana could remain below freezing for up to 60 hours through the holiday weekend, with only a brief respite on Saturday afternoon. Blustery winds of up to 50 mph could further complicate the situation, leading to power outages, and downed trees and power lines. In addition, the winds will make driving hazardous as it blows out of the north and north-northwest, perpendicular to major interstates and highways. “Christmas decorations should be secured otherwise your neighbor some 2 to 3 blocks away could be the new owner of your decorations,” a forecaster at NWS New Orleans joked in their forecast.

“Every person in Louisiana must take extra precautions in the coming days, especially those living in temporary housing or shelter units following last year’s hurricane and the recent tornado outbreak,” said GOHSEP Director Casey Tingle. “Follow all safety guidelines for those units such as check all propane lines and keep all doors and windows clear in case an emergency escape is needed. Many of our local partners are establishing warming stations across the state. Examine your personal plans and take any action necessary to safely get through this event.”

Mayor LaToya Cantrell is expected to announce the activation of the citywide freeze plan on Wednesday afternoon in preparation for the arctic event. In the meantime, residents can find tips on how to protect exposed pipes from winter weather on the American Red Cross website.

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