South Louisiana Ports Advocate for Federal Aid Post Hurricane Ida
NEW ORLEANS – Several south Louisiana ports partnered to request federal assistance as a result of the impacts of Hurricane Ida on their infrastructure, waterways and communities. The ports of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Fourchon, Morgan City, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, South Louisiana and Terrebonne formally submitted a request to President Biden on Sept. 7, 2021, to ensure ports are included in bills designating funding recipients.
The lower Mississippi River opened three days after Hurricane Ida made landfall in southeast Louisiana as a category 4 storm. By Sept. 2, the Port of New Orleans resumed limited operations and became fully operational Sept. 7.
Although operations resumed, there remains ongoing assessment of needs, and supply chain disruptions also continue. Damages caused by Hurricane Ida placed significant additional stress on an already strained supply chain network throughout the entire country.
The port said critical impacts to maritime facilities and infrastructure include damage and extended closures of grain terminals during a record harvest season and ongoing extended closure of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway between Morgan City and New Orleans, resulting in four- to five-day delays for barge tows and shallow-water traffic.
“The Port of New Orleans and New Orleans Public Belt Railroad are resilient and strong. Our wharves are busy post storm and trains are moving, but we still have challenges to overcome in order to get back to previous levels,” said Brandy D. Christian, president and CEO of Port NOLA and CEO of NOPB. “To restore this economic engine fully and preserve the thousands of jobs that depend on it, we respectfully ask that the White House urgently request funding from Congress to address these issues as soon as possible to help us collectively move forward from these significant impacts.”