New Orleans Issues Guidance for Securing Construction Sites

The city's guidance for securing construction material in anticipation of heavy rain includes covering electrical equipment from exposure to the weather; securing netting, scaffolding, and sidewalk sheds; and also suspending crane operations and securing crane equipment when wind speeds reach 30 mph or greater.

New Orleans city officials have worked this week to prepare city residents for heavy rain as Tropical Storm Harvey approaches, makes landfall to the west, and then moves inland. One city gauge recorded 5.85 inches of rain on Aug. 28, according to the NOLA Ready website, and the Times-Picayune reported that about 500 people were rescued in the Lake Charles, La., area that night and St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom declared a state of emergency in that parish on Aug. 29 in anticipation of more rain.

The city posted instructions for residents and also construction companies to help them prepare for heavy rain conditions.

For residents: Clean your property and street by:

  • Removing debris from gutters and downspouts
  • Clearing debris from catch basins and reporting clogged catch basins to 311
  • Pruning trees and shrubs
  • Bringing outdoor furniture and decorations inside
  • Securing or bringing garbage bins inside

Also recommended are to move possessions to your highest floor and photograph your property for insurance purposes.

Residents also were advised to:

  • Prepare to shelter in place during heavy rain
  • Not walk or drive through flood waters
  • Call 911 to report street flooding and life-threatening emergencies

During heavy rainfall, residents will be allowed to park on the neutral ground and sidewalks, as long as vehicles do not block intersections or the streetcar track. They may sign up for the special needs registry if they have medical or mobility needs and might need extra help in an emergency.

The guidance for securing construction sites:

  • Remove construction materials from the perimeter of the building and tie them down. This includes smaller items such as tools to larger items such as dumpsters, portable bathrooms and even equipment.
  • Secure steel frames, metal decks, planks, and plywood to supportive structures.
  • Provide shoring and bracing for areas under construction or demolition.
  • Cover electrical equipment from exposure to the weather.
  • Secure netting, scaffolding, and sidewalk sheds.
  • Suspend crane operations and secure crane equipment when wind speeds reach 30 mph or greater.
  • Suspend hoist operations and secure exterior hoists when wind speeds reach 35 mph or greater, unless manufacturer specifications state otherwise.
  • Brace and secure construction fences and check that silt fences are properly buried and staked.
  • Cover dirt stock piles.
  • Clear all storm drains or inlet filters on or near the construction site.

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