Road conditions in Gulf Region improve

| 9/6/2005

Eight days after Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf States, flooding in New Orleans continues to keep all roads in the area closed, but interstates and highways in other parts of the region are beginning to clear up.

In Alabama, storm-related road problems - including flooding and downed power lines - are beginning to ease in storm-stricken Mobile and Baldwin Counties. Most roadways that were closed by the storm were open as of Tuesday morning, Sept. 6, although drivers remain under strong advisories to avoid the area if possible.

Road conditions have improved dramatically in southern Mississippi. With the exception of U.S. 90, which runs through the state, from Alabama to Louisiana, all roadways are open in the state. However, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety is still urging caution as hurricane cleanup continues throughout the area.

The Louisiana State Police ordered all roads into and out of the New Orleans area closed after the storm. 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, and from Pontchatoula to LaPlace;
  • Interstate 51 south at Interstate 10;
  • U.S. 61 at Kenner City, Shrewsbury Road, and U.S. 61 south at the St. Charles Parish line;
  • Belle Chasse Tunnel on Louisiana Route 23;
  • U.S. 90 at Interstate 310, and at the Orleans Parish line;
  • River Road at the Orleans Parish line;
  • Interstate 55 southbound south of Ponchatoula;
  • Highway 11 at Little Irish Bayou, and south of Slidell;
  • Interstate 59 southbound to Interstate 10 westbound

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: