Friday, February 10, 2017
The last couple of afternoons, I've noticed big helicopters zooming overhead. I chalked it up to the tornado damage in New Orleans East, which took place on Tuesday. But they have been loud and flying very low in my neighborhood.
Last night I was awakened from sleep around 1:00 am by what sounded like an explosion, and by helicopters zooming overhead. This went on for some time, so I checked on my phone the local Next Door site - Next Door is a kind of neighborhood watch online.
Lots of people were up and disturbed by the activity. Some people said they'd heard machine gun fire.
Turns out it was the NOPD running some training games out of the old Navy facility on Poland Avenue at the Industrial Canal. On Facebook, a friend said he'd talked to a police commander at the gates who didn't seem all that concerned that an entire neighborhood of residents was being frightened out of their beds.
Another friend posted that patrons coming out of Vaughan's Lounge after a late night set by Corey Henry and the Treme Funktet were shocked and surprised, as though they'd entered a fire fight.
The NOPD's official announcement claimed they'd informed local residents and private property owners, but the Bywater Neighborhood Association said they had not been informed. Nor had homeowners or businesses on Poland Avenue.
There might be more of this over the weekend. At least now we know what it is.
UPDATE: NOPD says it's the Army running "urban military training."
As another friend of mine commented, "They're training all right. They're training us."