Road closings continue to plague Gulf States in Katrina's wake

| 8/30/2005

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s onslaught on the Gulf Coast left roads in shambles and transportation spotty as rescue and relief efforts got under way Tuesday, Aug. 30.

The Louisiana State Police ordered all roads into and out of the New Orleans area closed. All roads in Jefferson Parish – the area in which New Orleans is located – are closed until further notice. Large portions of Interstate 10 have also been closed.

Katrina moved ashore near the Louisiana/Mississippi border shortly after 6 a.m. CDT Monday, Aug. 29, as a Category 4 hurricane. The storm has been downgraded to a tropical depression as it dissipates over the eastern United States.

In Katrina’s wake, a number of smaller Louisiana roadways are also facing closures due to flooding or unspecified structural damage, including:

  • U.S. 61 at Kenner;
  • Belle Chasse Tunnel on Louisiana Route 23;
  • Twinspan Bridges on Interstate 10;
  • U.S. 90 at Chief Menteur highway, and at the Lafourche/St. Charles Parish line;
  • U.S. 61 at the St. Charles Parish line;
  • Westbank Expressway 90B;
  • Louisiana Route 3127;
  • Bourg Larous Highway;
  • Louisiana Route 1 from state Route 943 to state Route 18, and fromstate Route 943 to state Route 18;
  • Louisiana Route 308 at the Valentine Bridge;
  • Louisiana Route 308 from Louisiana Route 1247;
  • Highway 11 at Little Irish Bayou;
  • Louisiana Route 416 between Louisiana Route 415 and Louisiana Route 983

Because south Louisiana interstates are heavily congested, officials are advising alternate routes of travel when exiting New Orleans are as follows:

  • Louisiana Route 3127 to Louisiana Route 70 to Louisiana Route 1 North
  • U.S. 90 West to I-49 North
  • U.S. 61 North
  • I-10 East to I-59 North
  • Causeway to I-12 West to I-55 North
  • I-10 West to I-55 North

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety’s Web site was not operational Tuesday afternoon for updated road closing reports. However, on Monday, officials were advising all traffic to avoid travel south of Interstate 20, except for emergency vehicles.

Storm-related road problems – including flooding and downed power lines – continue to close roads in southwestern Alabama near Mobile and Biloxi, including:

  • Interstate 10 is closed in Mobile County between Alabama Route 163 and U.S. 98 in Daphne, AL;
  • Interstate 10 closed at Exit 26b in Mobile County;
  • U.S. 98 closed at the D’Olive Creek Bridge in Baldwin County;
  • Alabama Route 188 closed at Padget Switch Road to Alabama Port in Mobile County;
  • Alabama Route 163 closed north of Dog River Bridge in Mobile County;
  • U.S. 90/98 Causeway closed in Baldwin County;
  • Alabama Routes 59, 180 and 182 closed in Baldwin County;
  • U.S. 98 closed at Bankhead Tunnel in Baldwin County;
  • Alabama Route 193 closed between Alabama Route 188 and Dauphin Island in Mobile County;
  • Alabama Route 180 advisory in place between MP3 and MP4 in Baldwin County.

Because of the nature of a natural disaster, road conditions and closings are prone to change at a moment’s notice. For an up-to-date list of closings in specific areas, visit the following states’ Web sites for more information:

President Bush declared the states of Louisiana and Mississippi disaster areas Monday, allowing federal disaster funds and support from Federal Emergency Management Agency to be used.