Residents of New Orleans’ 9th Ward May Begin ‘Looking and Leaving’

October 13, 2005

New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin announced that residents in portions of New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward were able to return to the city to visit their homes beginning Oct. 12. The plan is in effect until further notice.

“Many people have been working to prepare the Lower 9th Ward for residents’ return,” Mayor Nagin said. “It is important for people to see their homes and move forward with the process of building a new future for their families. Since the area sustained heavy damage, we urge everyone to take the necessary precautions to remain safe as they return.”

All streets on the south side of North Claiborne Avenue to the Mississippi River are open for “Look and Leave” visitation. Residents may return to see the extent of damage to their property and to gather personal valuables.

A command center will be located at North Claiborne and Caffin Avenues, and New Orleans Police Department and National Guard vehicles will be patrolling the streets if residents need assistance.

The area will be open for visitation from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. No one will be permitted to remain after dark; all city curfews are in effect. Residents will enter and exit the Lower 9th Ward via the St. Claude Avenue Bridge.

Due to unsafe conditions, all streets north of North Claiborne Avenue are restricted. The city is working around the clock to make these streets open for “Look and Leave” visitation.

An information sheet will be distributed to returning residents, who are advised to adhere to the following:

–Use gloves, boots and coveralls. Wash all soiled clothing and equipment.
–Do not enter heavily damaged structures.
–Drink bottled water throughout the day to prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration.
–Protect yourself from mold and bacteria. Wear particulate masks. Extreme areas require the use of respirators. If an area is extremely moldy, stay away. State agencies caution that mold is unhealthy for children and the elderly. Do not expose children or elderly residents to moldy buildings.
–Use insect repellant to prevent mosquito bites, as there may be more mosquitoes than normal.
–Watch for wild and domestic animals. Some of them are more aggressive than normal because of the stresses they have undergone. Disinfect any wounds and bites immediately and seek medical care as soon as possible.
–You should have a recent tetanus shot. Tetanus shots are good for 10 years.

Booster shots are available at all open health clinics:

–Touro’s Emergency Room is operating, along with Ochsner, West Jefferson, East Jefferson, and Children’s Hospital and a support hospital at the Convention Center.
–Algiers Community Health Clinic (Fishers) 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., 4422 General Meyer, Algiers
–Covenant House (Downtown) 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., 611 North Rampart St.
–Ida Hymel Health Clinic 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., 1111 Newton St., Algiers
–Tulane CBD Practice Plan Clinic – at Harrah’s (mobile unit) 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., 512 S. Peter St.
–Uptown Square Clinic (mobile unit) 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., 200 Broadway Ave., Suite 230

The Salvation Army will have two mobile units and 12 counselors on duty.

Clean-up kits, food, water and ice and portable restrooms will be available at the command center.

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