Port of New Orleans “spared serious damage”

News – September 4, 2008

The Port of New Orleans says its facilities “were spared serious damage” in the wake of Hurricane Gustav and Coast Guard and Port officials are working to expedite the re-opening of the Mississippi River to deep-draft vessel traffic.

“Our Mississippi River facilities, which constitute more than 80 per cent of our cargo operations, received very minimal wind damage,” said Port President and CEO Gary P LaGrange. “We’ve been in touch with all of our terminal operators and are working with them to restart cargo operations as soon as possible.”

The US Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA and the Coast Guard will inspect the channel at Southwest Pass today to determine if deep-draft vessels will be allowed to enter the River.

Port officials are also taking soundings of its berths and approaches from the channel to determine if they require maintenance dredging.

Overall, the Port sustained minimal damage to its Mississippi River facilities from the Henry Clay Avenue Wharf upriver to the Alabo Street Terminal downriver.

Minor damage, such as damaged fencing, transformers, doors and signage, was reported. Mississippi River terminals constitute more than 80 per cent of the port’s cargo operations.