New Orleans City Hall to open as scheduled this week, more updates on cyberattack

New Orleans City Hall to open as scheduled this week, more updates on cyberattack
Some city agencies and departments will operate differently until further notice as the city continues the recovery process from the incident. (Source: WVUE Fox 8)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - New Orleans City Hall is set to open normal business hours this week after last Friday’s cyberattack.

New Orleans city officials say the forensic investigation into the cyberattack is ongoing. They say agents are still collecting data and have yet to determine the root cause of the attack or whether any data has been compromised.

There are over 50 volunteer state agents and government partners helping. Most are technical engineers working to go through the city’s 4,000 computers to scrub and then rebuild with them with backup data.

“From what we know, we are confident the data we have is recoverable and the plan. The dash disaster and recovery plan the city has designed is actionable,” Chief information officer Kim Lagrue said. “That means our plan to recover our data and return systems to normal is working.”

Many city departments are having to do work by pen and paper. Leaders say it may slow the process some but most services are available to residents.

A temporary webpage has been established while the regular nola.gov website is down. Residents are able to submit 3-1-1 requests for service; pay sales, use, and parking taxes; and pay parking and camera tickets on the temporary webpage.

City leaders say their plan for recovering data is working. However, some city agencies and departments will operate differently until further notice as the city continues the recovery process from the incident.

“So I made it very clear to employees of city government the severity of this issue. when we give directives like don’t turn on your computer we do mean that,” Mayor Cantell said. "As a result, just today we did have some employees come to work turn on that computer. "

City employees are being told to prepare to be in manual mode through the end of the year. They hope it won’t come to that, but issues from Friday’s cyberattack will last into the next week.

Below are services still affected by the cyberattack, according to city officials:

Emergency Services

New Orleans Police Department

NOPD is operating normally. The department is documenting incidents manually. Body cameras and in-car camera footage continue to record and plans are in place to ensure the preservation of footage. Temporarily, NOPD will not be able to run background checks for the public.

New Orleans Fire Department

The New Orleans Fire Department emergency response is not affected and firefighters are responding as normal to all calls.

New Orleans Emergency Medical Services

New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response operations have not been impacted. There may be a delay for non-emergency business matters. Residents are asked to call 3-1-1 for non-emergency requests until department phone lines are restored. EMS-related business emails can be sent to noems.public@gmail.com.

Real-Time Crime Center

The City’s public safety cameras are functional and recording.

Orleans Parish Communications District

The Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD) system has remained operational throughout this event. Citizens who wish to submit NOLA-311 requests online should do so at www.nola311.org until the incident is resolved.

Facilities & City Services

New Orleans Recreation Development Commission

All facilities and programs are open and operating, however, residents will need to manually sign in when visiting NORD facilities.

Courts

Municipal and Traffic Court will be closed tomorrow, however, Municipal Court will be hearing first appearances. The District Attorney’s Office, Criminal District Court, and the Sheriff’s Office will operate as normal.

Sanitation

There is no anticipated impact to the Department of Sanitation operations. Enforcement rangers will track violations manually on paper records.

Public Works Maintenance and Inspection

The city will continue to clean catch basins and address potholes. Reports will be made manually.

Taxes & Revenue

Monthly sales tax payments are due on Friday, Dec. 20. Since the city’s systems are down, taxpayers have the option of filing tax forms at Parish EFile or Sales Tax Online. The Department of Revenue will service taxpayers and will accept payments by cashier checks and money orders.

New Orleans Health Department

The New Orleans Health Department offices will be open as usual. The department will be answering phones for resident issues and accommodating walk-ins for questions and immunization records.

Healthcare for the Homeless will be unable to see patients due to the inability to access electronic health records. Regular sites will be fully staffed using paper records to reschedule patient appointments when individuals arrive.

WIC will also be fully staffed, however, vouchers will not be able to be distributed as normal.

The Healthy Environments Team will be unable to perform this week’s homeless cleaning and outreach sweep.

Other programs will have limited connectivity and the inability to access files and data.

JOB1

Orientation (WIOA) and classes (STRIVE & LaJET) will occur as normal.

No computerized job search will be available, so job seekers can view printed job leads displayed on job boards.

Neighborhood Engagement Office

Neighborhood Liaisons will continue to address cases by working with city departments by phone.

All updates can be provided by residents over the phone at 504-658-4900.

Neighborhood Engagement will update residents with pertinent information via NextDoor and other available digital outlets.

Neighborhood Engagement will continue to coordinate future CleanUpNOLA events over the phone with partners and begin sorting submitted community impact grant applications.

Permits

Parking Permits & Towing

Parking enforcement officials will fully support field enforcement operations, support boot returns and assisted releases, and will accept payments at the Claiborne Auto Pound Cashiering Office.

Towing will be able to execute normal operations.

The Department of Public Works traffic team will not be able to review or approve permits in the digital permitting system.

Field operations will be tracked manually on paper.

Parking officials will be unable to issue residential permit parking decals.

Safety and Permits

All Safety and Permits hearings scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 18 have been canceled.

The Department of Safety and Permits will be scheduling inspections manually while services are down. Community members should use the following phone numbers Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call 3-1-1 around-the-clock to schedule inspections:

  • Taxis, school buses & other ground transportation - 658-7170
  • Building inspections - 658-7130
  • Electrical inspections - 658-7145
  • Mechanical inspections - 658-7153

Until further notice, all payments must be made by check or money order made out to the City of New Orleans. All applications, documents, and records must be submitted in paper form.

City Planning Commission

The City Planning Commission will be able to accept all types of applications, filed manually on paper as normal. A timely review of new and pending applications may be delayed.

Historic Districts Landmark Commission

All HDLC hearings scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 18 have been canceled.

The New Orleans and Central Business District Historic Districts Landmark Commission will hold the regularly scheduled Architectural Review Committee meetings on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Applicants need to bring six sets of 11x17 sized drawings for review. Over-the-counter reviews for repair and restoration work will be issued in person at the One-Stop permitting office on the 7th floor of City Hall. Review and approval of building plans will temporarily be halted.

Vieux Carre Commission

All VCC hearings scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 18 have been canceled.

The Vieux Carre Commission will be able to meet applicants, perform site visits, conduct inspections and hold its regularly scheduled Architectural Committee meeting on Tuesday. Permits will be created manually as necessary.

Film Permits

Film permitting will be coordinated through location managers on behalf of productions via phone and evaluated for conditional approval by the Film New Orleans office and pertinent City offices.

Parks and Parkways Rental Permits

The Department of Parks and Parkways can receive in-person rental requests at our office located at 2829 Gentilly Blvd between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. However, the department cannot confirm new park rentals for Armstrong Park, Jackson Square, Washington Square, Brechtel Park and Palmer Park until the system is available. Joe Bartholomew golf course is open but cannot book advance tee times. The department will accommodate golfers on a first-come, first-served basis.

The city is still in the process of recovery and any additional updates will be posted here.

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