Everything to know about the Hard Rock Hotel partial collapse

From traffic issues, public transportation and evacuations, a lot is happening due to the partial collapse at the construction site of the Hard Rock Hotel on Canal Street. Here's a running guide of what to know.

by Mary Staes
October 17, 2019

From traffic issues, public transportation and evacuations, a lot is happening due to the partial collapse at the construction site of the Hard Rock Hotel on Canal Street. Here’s a running guide of what to know and resources for those affected.

What Is Known About What Happened

WDSU News coverage

On Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, a massive section of the Hard Rock Hotel, which is currently under construction, collapsed. City leaders are preparing to collapse two cranes at the site downtown. Here’s what’s being reported.

What caused the collapse?

How many died, injured?

  • Three people died in the collapse and dozens more were injured. Officials have yet to recover two of the bodies.
  • About 30 people were hospitalized, according to officials.
  • A vigil was held Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in front of City Hall

What are residents doing in the area?

  • The city says about 100 residents have been displaced due to the collapse.
  • Nine businesses are without utilities
  • The neighboring Saenger Theatre canceled all future performances of “Wicked”

Were construction workers at the site that day?

  • More than 100 people were working at the site that day.
Emergency officials are on the scene of a partial building collapse at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site downtown New Orleans, Louisiana on October 12, 2019. 
The New Orleans fire department received reports at 9:12am local time that the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown New Orleans had collapsed. (Photo by Emily Kask / 30238387A / AFP) (Photo by EMILY KASK/30238387A /AFP via Getty Images)

Controlled Crane Collapse

What happened?

  • Around 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, explosives were used to implode two unstable cranes at the collapse site.
  • One crane partially collapsed onto Rampart Street, while a part of the other crane rested on on the Hard Rock building.
  • Officials said despite the crane hanging, it was now stable and could be taken apart piece by piece.

What Happens Next?

  • Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Sunday she expects the building will eventually be demolished after the victims bodies are removed from the rubble.

Traffic Concerns

  • Riverbound Canal Street has reopened from Claiborne Avenue to Elk Place. Traffic must turn right on Elk. Other traffic restrictions remain in place.

Evacuation Area

More at NOLA Ready

Street closures and evacuations are still in place for the immediate area near the hotel, as well as a temporary expanded evacuation zone Sunday afternoon.

Current Evacuation area:

  • Uptown side of Bienville, river side of Basin, Uptown side of Canal and lake side of Burgundy. If you are in this area, please evacuate immediately.

(Photo by Emily Kask / 30238387A / AFP) (Photo by EMILY KASK/30238387A /AFP via Getty Images)

Is your car stuck in the evacuation area?

Full information from WDSU

Vehicles will be removed from the Premium Parking Garage at 200 N. Rampart Street. There are more than 200 vehicles in the lot.

Where crews will remove vehicles:

  • Premium Parking Garage at 200 N. Rampart Street

What to do:

  • Call 311
  • Provide name & vehicle information

What happens next?

  • Firefighters will call the owner of the vehicle to schedule a pick up
    • Keys will need to be given to the firefighters along with the owner’s ID.
    • Non-emergency personnel will NOT be allowed in the evacuation zone
  • A location will be set up outside the evacuation zone for owners to pick up their cars
    • No other private property will be recovered.

Weather concerns

Weather is a major concern, with rain and wind possible due to a cold front moving across the area.

  • A severe storm threat is in effect Monday.
  • Wind gusts and some off-and-on showers are possible.

Click here to get the latest forecast that may affect the recovery operations downtown.  

What to do if you take the bus or streetcar?

Info from New Orleans Regional Transit Authority

At 3:00 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20, the New Orleans RTA is relocating its temporary central transit hub from its headquarters at 2817 Canal Street to Duncan Plaza at 343 Loyola Avenue. The RTA said it will provide onsite operations management and customer service.

RTA relocates temporary central transit hub relocation to Duncan Plaza

Buses

The Hard Rock Hotel evacuation zone continues to prohibit RTA transit service to the Elk and Canal hub.

Riders will be able to make transfers to buses at Duncan Plaza as they normally would from Elk and Canal. Lines serving the Transit Hub are:

  • 15-Freret
  • 28-Martin Luther King
  • 32-Leonidas-Treme
  • 39-Tulane
  • 51-St. Bernard-St. Anthony
  • 52– St. Bernard-Paris Ave.
  • 57-Franklin
  • 62-Morrison Express
  • 63-New Orleans East Owl
  • 64-Lake Forest Express
  • 65-Read-Crowder Express
  • 80-Desire-Louisa
  • 84-Galvez
  • 88-St. Claude
  • 91-Jackson-Esplanade
  • 100-Algiers Owl
  • 101-Algiers Point
  • 102– General Meyer
  • 106-Aurora
  • 114-General DeGaulle-Sullen
  • 115-General DeGaulle-Tullis
  • 202-Airport Express

Streetcar Service changes

The Hard Rock Hotel evacuation zone continues to prohibit RTA transit service to the Elk and Canal hub.

  • Riverfront Streetcar – service suspended along entire streetcar line, RTA is recommending that riders use the 55-Elysian Fields or the 5-Marigny-Bywater in place of the suspended Riverfront Streetcar line.
  • Rampart- St. Claude Streetcar – service suspended along entire streetcar line.
  • Canal streetcar-Cemeteries – streetcars will continue to run as normal from Liberty to Cemeteries or City Park, all streetcar service is suspended from Liberty Street to the river. Bus bridges are in place and servicing the suspended portions of the Canal streetcar-Cemeteries line.
  • Canal streetcar-City Park/Museum – streetcars will continue to run as normal from Liberty to Cemeteries or City Park, all streetcar service is suspended from Liberty Street to the river. Bus bridges are in place and servicing the suspended portions of the Canal streetcar-City Park/Museum streetcar line.

Resources for those affected

City officials have set up a resource center at the Main Library (219 Loyola Ave.) This includes mental health resources, as well as resources for the small business and employees affected by the collapse evacuation area.

Text Alerts

Text “HARDROCK” to 888777 for updates directly from the City of New Orleans on the crane demolition.

Who to follow on Twitter for updates:

Mary Staes is Digital Content Lead for Very Local. She works with our freelancers and crafts content for our social media platforms and website. Before Very Local, she worked with CBS affiliate WWL-TV as a web producer and weekend assignment editor for about 4 years. She has also handled broadcast coverage for 160 Marine Reserve training facilities while she served as an active duty Marine. As a native New Orleanian, she takes being "very local" to heart. She loves being intertwined with the culture and figuring out how there are less than two degrees of separation between us all, whether...

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