New Orleans port assessment: We'll bounce back


ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- An initial survey of the Port of New Orleans indicates that while many of the ports wharves were intact immediately following Hurricane Katrina, other major hurdles such as procuring labor, getting to and from the port by road and issues with the river itself also remain.

Crews from the Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District were surveying the Mississippi River from New Orleans to the Gulf on Sept. 1. The river remains closed to traffic except for tugs, barges, offshore vessels relocating and recovery boats.

Gary LaGrange, the CEO of the Port of New Orleans, said port officials were able to survey some of the port facilities on Aug. 29 by road and Aug. 30 by water.

The Julia Street Cruise Terminal appeared largely intact, although sections of its roof were missing, he said.

We need to analyze the cruise operation, LaGrange said. Right now the Louis Armstrong Airport is underwater and hotels supporting the cruise industry need to repair their facilities. We still have autos for passengers parked which incurred heavy damage.

But, he remained optimistic. It wont be overnight, but eventually we will bounce back bigger and better than ever, he said.

To contact reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to r[email protected].

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