On the Mend

The Port of South Louisiana and its tenants work toward recovery after Hurricane Ida.

Operations have resumed at the Port of South Louisiana following the impact of Hurricane Ida, yet efforts to assess property damages, to form long-term recovery plans and to mend disrupted supply chains continue. The storm caused extended closures of grain terminals and ongoing extended closures of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) between New Orleans and Morgan City; however, some projects, including the delivery of the Port’s two mobile cranes, were able to continue as scheduled.

“Just about every building at the Port was damaged in some way, mostly from wind that caused damages to the roofs and sides of buildings,” says Paul Aucoin, Executive Director at the Port. “Most of the damage is fixable. Both the Port and our tenants have begun to repair the damages, and we are accomplishing this by working around the damages.”

Tenants within the Port of South Louisiana who sustained damage include Associated Terminals (the Port’s stevedore operators), Baumer Foods (manufacturer of Crystal Hot Sauce) and Natco Foods (manufacturer of poultry meats and other food products). Each of their facilities experienced damage to roofs, doors and wall panels, but business was able to continue after implementing short-term solutions.

“The tenants, along with the Port, made temporary repairs to buildings,” says Lana Simon, administrative programs specialist at the Port of South Louisiana. “In a matter of days, the tenants were back in operation. The Port will make permanent repairs to buildings.”

Sal LaCiura, Terminal Manager at Globalplex Intermodal Terminal, says Associated Terminals worked quickly after the storm to get back to work and prevent any additional disruptions to operations.

“The majority of our staff returned to work within three days post-storm and assessed all damages and developed a plan to restore temporary power and to get repairs underway,” says LaCiura. “Three of our warehouses received significant damage, and one received minor damage. We utilized the warehouse with the least damage as the base for our day-to-day operations to continue to meet our customers’ needs. We were able to begin operations in seven days and are now fully operational. I can’t thank the Globalplex team members enough for their hard work and commitment to get us back in action.”

Despite an expansive list of internal needs to address, several companies within the Port of South Louisiana directed efforts outward to supply relief to the other businesses and the community in the immediate wake of Hurricane Ida. CRC Global Solutions partnered with the Port to distribute food to those in need. Meanwhile, Natco shared cold storage with other companies located within the Port to offset additional losses. 

LaCiura says the Port’s engineers have provided post-Hurricane Ida assessments; however, their ability to fully assess damages was limited by widespread power outages, meaning there might still be a long road ahead toward fully identifying and repairing all facilities.

“The engineers will likely amend the reports after completing a second assessment,” Simon says. “Recovery is ongoing.”

Aucoin says that, even with challenges, the unity and determination of the Port staff and affiliated partners has been admirable as they work toward full recovery. 

“The response by the Port and the tenants has been amazing,” says Aucoin, “and I look forward to the Port’s Globalplex terminal being fully operational sooner than expected.”