Democratic New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has issued a mandatory, city-wide curfew for the foreseeable future in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, and she is utilizing the National Guard to combat looting, she said at a news conference Monday.
The city is still without power days after the category four storm hit southeast Louisiana. Due to the post-storm conditions, and the August heat, Cantrell announced a curfew.
People will be forced to stay in their homes from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. until the curfew is lifted.
I have signed an Executive Order mandating a city wide curfew, effective immediately for all residents from 8pm -6am. pic.twitter.com/IywxeUtrXN
— Mayor LaToya Cantrell (@mayorcantrell) August 31, 2021
During a city media briefing on Monday, she urged people to stay out of the city until further notice.
“Now is not the time for re-entry into the city of New Orleans,” Cantrell said, asking city residents who had evacuated to stay away until essential services and order are restored.
For those who remained, she told them: “Stay in your homes, stay in your neighborhoods.”
New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson later during the news briefing divulged that the city is experiencing reports of looting in the aftermath of Ida.
“We have received numerous calls of looting, and as such, we have made several arrests. We will get you that information later,” Ferguson told reporters. “This will not be tolerated … This will not be tolerated.”
“[Looting] is a state felony and we will be booking you accordingly. This is not the time to take opportunities of our vulnerable population right now, which, we all are vulnerable at this point in time,” Ferguson added.
Asked about instances of looting, Ferguson later told reporters there have been reports of looting in numerous neighborhoods throughout New Orleans.
“Looters have targeted no specific area, but we are asking our business owners to [protect themselves]. But we’re not just going to leave it upon them. It’s our duty, it’s our responsibility to help this with this,” he said.
He also reported that the National Guard is working to combat looters.
“Right now we are going through some trying times, and we need to really pull ourselves through this together,” Ferguson said. “We’re working with the Louisiana National Guard to implement our anti-looting deployment … We will not tolerate any looting whatsoever.”
Cantrell, after taking the podium from Ferguson, took a hardline stance against property thefts and those behind them as the city suffers from the devastating storm.
“My directive has been very clear: Lock ’em up,” Cantrell said of looters. “We will not tolerate it and we have not tolerated it.”
The mayor said the looting is not “widespread,” and added New Orleans will not “be targeted, nor reported, as being a city that is not under control.”
“We will remain under control,” Cantrell said. “We will hold individuals who do not follow the guidelines and the parameters that are in place — and the laws — they will be held accountable. State felony.”
As of Wednesday morning, power had been restored for only 11,500 customers in New Orleans, Entergy CEO Deanna Rodriguez said, WDSU-TV reported.
Ida came ashore Sunday as a powerful storm, but the levees and floodwalls that failed New Orleans in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina held up. The city avoided a potential catastrophe with regard to flooding, but without power, city officials are focused on keeping order and taking care of people who are in need of basic services, food and water.
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