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Carnival parades rescheduled: storms expected on busy day

February 21, 2019

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans moved three daytime Saturday parades up an hour and a suburb rescheduled a Saturday evening parade to Sunday because storms are likely on one of the busiest days leading up to Mardi Gras.

A dozen Carnival parades were scheduled Saturda y in the New Orleans area, with at least 11 more statewide.

Southeast Louisiana probably will see the worst storms and high winds in the late afternoon and evening Saturday as low pressure and a cold front move into the area, National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Destri said Thursday.

“We could get some strong thunderstorms and heavy rain,” he said.

At least seven of the groups parading Saturday had scheduled evening parades, with two in New Orleans.

Starting the city’s daytime parades early “will help clear the route ahead of the period when rain and storms are most likely,” a news release said. “There is a marginal risk for severe storms Saturday evening, however, the worst of these impacts are currently expected to remain north of the city.”

The Krewe of Pontchartrain, originally scheduled for a 1 p.m. start, will roll at noon instead, followed by the krewes of Choctaw and Freret.

The city will keep an eye on the weather in case other changes are needed, the statement said.

Destri said the storms are expected to move through overnight. “Sunday’s looking like a clear day,” he said.

In Slidell, about 30 miles (45 kilometers) north-northeast of New Orleans, the Krewe of Titans is moving its parade from 6:30 p.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday. A parade originally scheduled at 1 p.m. Sunday will instead start at 2 p.m.

Parade-goers should park carefully — those whose path home requires crossing the parade route won’t be able to leave between parades, even though there is expected to be a delay, police warned.

At least nine traditional parades with floats, as well as some walking parades and two pet parades are scheduled around Louisiana Sunday.

About 75 more are scheduled the following week, including more than 25 on Fat Tuesday itself, March 5 this year.

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