Wednesday, September 28

Port has moderate damage

Hurricane Rita caused moderate damage to facilities and cargo at the Port of Lake Charles, port officials said. The port could be fully operational in a few days.

“We’re not heavily damaged,” said Nathan Sukiennik, the port’s director of marketing and trade development. “We’ve lost some of the tin off of the older buildings and, of course, like everyone else, our power lines are down and we’ve lost power.”

Sukiennik said the storm damaged less than 3 percent of the 40,000 tons of cargo in port.

“There were some bags that got wet. Some of the lumber got wet,” Sukiennik said.

Workers have already begun patching buildings and cleaning up debris. A call over local radio for volunteer cleanup workers was so successful a few had to be turned away Tuesday, port officials said.

The port is also in the process of setting up a Houston accounting office to handle payroll and other financial matters, Sukiennik said.

Seven port workers rode the storm out in a fortified room in the port’s new automatic bag-loading facility.

Port employees are asked to call in Friday afternoon for further instructions. The number to call is (337) 263-3542.

Jeremy Harper
Staff Writer

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