Some routes reopen, but road closings continue to paralyze Gulf States

| Thursday, September 01, 2005

Despite some improvement in Mississippi and Alabama, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's onslaught on the Gulf continued to keep numerous roadways closed as rescue and relief efforts continued Thursday, Sept. 1.

In Alabama, sections of Interstate 10 that were previously closed have begun to open up, under strong advisories to avoid the area if possible. However, storm-related road problems - including flooding and downed power lines - continue to close roads in southwestern Alabama near Mobile and Baldwin Counties.

In Mississippi, conditions have improved and all roads are now open in the southwest part of the state. The Department of Public Safety was previously advising all traffic except emergency vehicles to avoid travel south of Interstate 20 in the state. The following roads are still closed in Mississippi:

  • US 49 south of Seminary in Covington County;
  • Interstate 59 from Laurel in Jones County to the Mississippi/Louisiana state line;
  • Hwy 63 from Lucedale to Moss Point;
  • Hwy 84 from Collins to Waynesboro;
  • Hwy 98 from Hattiesburg to Mobile;

According to the Mississippi Department of Safety, anyone who travels south of these locations will hinder emergency operations.

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, including the Twinspan Bridges, which were destroyed by the storm and flooding, have also been closed.

In Katrina's wake, a number of smaller Louisiana roadways are closed due to flooding or unspecified structural damage, including:

  • U.S. 51 at Interstate 10;
  • U.S. 61 at Kenner;
  • Belle Chasse Tunnel on Louisiana Route 23;
  • 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;
  • Bourg Larous Highway;
  • Louisiana Route 1 from state Route 943 to state Route 18;
  • Louisiana Route 308 at the Valentine Bridge;
  • Highway 11 at Little Irish Bayou, and south of Slidell;

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

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:

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