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Rosa Keller Library (5:00-9:00 PM)
My House NOLA presents a rolling food vendor mini festival
Maple Leaf (8:00PM)
Feel the Mardi Gras Indian beat with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux
Rebirth Brass Band
Crescent City Farmers Market
Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns
The Antenna Gallery (7:00 PM)
A series of music-themed movies and documentaries, curated and hosted by DJ Soul Sister, and co-presented by Charitable Film Network, Press Street, and WWOZ
Jewish Community Center (7:30 PM)
The second evening of a chamber music festival that has something for classical aficionados and dilettantes alike
Circle Bar (10:00 PM)
Catch the Indie rockers on their North American tour
Mayor Mitch Declares State of Emergency to Deal With N.O. East Marsh Fire, Live Blogged
For the first few days of the blaze, the New Orleans Fire Department handled the marsh fire in New Orleans East, and all warnings to try not to breathe. But as smoke started to settle over the city, it became apparent that Mayor Mitch would have to take the reins.
This afternoon, downtown N.O. is out of the haze for now, but the fire still rages. From City Hall, Landrieu is updating the press on what the city is going to do about, and we're live blogging his comments.
3:00 p.m. Jackie Clarkson steals a little bit of da Mayor's thunder by tweeting that the mayor is going to announce that choppers will be used. We can only assume this is the much-ballyhooed aerial approach to extinguishing the fire. New Orleans firefighters can't get to the blaze because it is waterlocked, and there are gators and snakes.
3:02 p.m. Proving again that the mayor is everywhere, Mayor Mitch is fresh off a flyover this morning and an afternoon meeting with Bobby Jindal. So we wonder, will his sleeves be up or down?
3:05 At the dais is Mayor Mitch in casual safari attire, Jackie Clarkson, city homeland security chief, Jerry Sneed, NOFD Chief Charles Parent. The NOPD rep is Deputy Chief Darryl Albert. Serpas is out of town
3:07 Mitch talks about his flyover. The fire is on private property, it was started by a lightning strike, is completely contained, and it's pretty much impossible to get equipment in. The natural course would be to let it burn itself out, but there is a giant plume of smoke.
3:10 After a flyover this morning, Mitch learned more, and is worried about two spots. One is near Chef Menteur
3:12 A state of emergency is declared. Now he can commendeer private property to get access to the fire, and four national guard helicopters can fly over the fire. Five more will be deployed. Cue flight of the Valkyries! Also, NORD activities are cancelled, there will be no city work outside, and RSD is limiting outside activity. There will NOT be an impact on flights in and out of the MSY.
3:15 The amount of smoke depends on the wind. The state Dept. of Environmental Quality is monitoring air quality by the hour. Landrieu says smoke will be with us for the next few days.
3:17 Dr. Karen Desalvo of the City Health Dept. tells everyone to use recirculate on their air conditioning, clean all filters, and avoid smoke if you have a respiratory condition. Avoid outside chores and work if possible, she says. University Hospital will be adding beds for respiratory problems and EMS is adding ambulances. There have been slight increases in reported ailments.
3:20 General Glen Curtis of the La. National Guard says the chopper capacity will be 9 for putting out the fire. They will use bambi buckets to dump water. Fire chief Charles Parent says the bucket dumps are the best way to fight the fire.
3:22 City Councilman Jon Johnson, of the council district that represents N.O. East takes the podium. He seems vindicated, and all but says his district is ignored and is finally getting attention. Guess it takes a plume! Johnson's house was inundated with smoke, and he got over 150 calls about the fire.
3:25 Jackie Clarkson tells people to heed the warnings, and comments on Algerians feeling like they were choking on smoke.
3:30 State Sen. JP Morrell now also gets a say. She says we will be able to check air quality online, but takes a moment for a little gripe: the money for this should not come from the city budget, she argues.
3:35 Mayor Mitch closes up. Here comes the line: We're the masters of the disaster! Mitch takes a national footing, as he's been known to do. Talks about how hurricanes are hitting the Northeast and we're having wildfires. He implores Congress not to cut funding. Johnson and Landrieu will be at a meeting tonight in N.O. East.
3:38 Question time! Mitch responds to questions with details on the buckets: They are 500 gallons and will be deployed from Chef Menteur Highway out. Mitch admits they might not put out the fire, but will at least contain the smoke.
3:40 No one wants to field the question about how long it will burn. After someone talks about subsurface fires going on for months (!) Mitch takes over and says we could get enough rain Thursday to put the whole thing out. Mitch reminds everyone that life and property are not in danger.
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