New Orleans Officials Outline Mardi Gras Preparations (VIDEO)

(WVUE/FOX 8) New Orleans city officials held a joint press conference Tuesday regarding Mardi Gras preparations.

Mayor Mitch  Landrieu and Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell lead a table top briefing Tuesday morning in preparation of Mardi Gras 2018.

Each year, Carnival season brings millions of visitors to the city and generates as much as $500 million in economic impact.

Mayor Landrieu stressed that safety is the city's number one priority for the 2018 Carnival Season.

Landrieu said that The New Orleans Police Department will be operation at 100 percent capacity starting February 2nd.

Up to 700 City employees and temporary workers will be cleaning our streets along with 100 pieces of equipment during events, as well as before and after parades.

“Parking is always difficult during Mardi Gras season so I encourage residents to make a plan before heading to parades,” Landrieu said.

The Louisiana State Police will also lend 165 troopers to the French Quarter and parade routes. Other agencies assisting in policing the routes include Orleans Parish deputies, Tulane Police, Kenner Police, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Department, and St. John The Baptist deputies.

There will also be 120 public works employees working street maintenance towing and booting illegally parked cars.

Landrieu said that over 6.4 million pounds of debris were cleared from the city's catch basins ahead of the parades.

The New Orleans Medical Reserve Corp will also erect first aid stands on the routes to ensure safety for residents and visitors.

Major changes to the Mardi Gras safety plan includes no ladders, chairs, or ice chests between the curbs of the streets. Also, no tents will be allowed anywhere on the routes. Ladders chained or set up more than 24 hours before the parade on the route will be removed.

According to NOPD Police Chief Michael Harrison, major changes were made to Uptown parade routes.

All Uptown parades except for two will make right turns towards the river instead of left turns towards the lake. Harrison said this will allow lake side roads to be open in case of emergencies.

Harrison also said that the Bourbon Street Rapid Response team as well as K9 bomb units will be out patrolling streets.

All visitors and residents are encouraged to alert authorities of any information that might jeopardize someone's safety.

NOPD and the mayor asked that people review the city's safety plan or to text Mardi Gras to 888777.

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