NEW ORLEANS -- The
Mississippi River re-opened during daylight hours to ships with a
35-foot draft, but Port of New Orleans officials said the port
needs an influx of diesel fuel in order to run its port operations.
The diesel is needed
to run ship-board generators that will create the electricity to
run port operations, a statement from port officials said. Those
port operations are going to be crucial to getting supplies and aid
to New Orleans in the coming days.
The ports CEO Gary
LaGrange said the port is trying to procure the fuel from the
Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The port will be
dedicated to military relief vessels during the next few weeks,
LaGrange said. The Iwo Jima, a 900-foot Marine Corps. helicopter
carrier, will berth at the Julia Street Cruise Terminal.
LaGrange said the
port survived Hurricane Katrina in fairly decent shape, and
officials have set up operations at the port headquarters building,
with a Louisiana State Police SWAT team headquarters temporarily
installed on the first floor.
However, he said,
repairs in several areas of the port will be needed to bring the
port back to full operations.
reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to [email protected].