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 BY ZACHARY FITZGERALD
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hurricanebousanyU.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette, helped host a 2015 Hurricane Preparedness Public Meeting Tuesday at the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium.

Though meteorologists are forecasting a below average year for hurricane activity in the Atlantic, one big storm can make a season. Forecasters expect seven
named storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane of Category 3 or greater, said Andy Patrick, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service office in Lake Charles. Hurricane season starts June 1 and ends Nov. 30. Patrick was one of the speakers at Tuesday’s 2015 Hurricane Preparedness Public 
Meeting at the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium. U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, RLafayette, partnered with the National Weather Service, National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, and Port of Morgan City to host the meeting. “Our maritime sector and our coastal life is vital for all of us,” Boustany said. “It’s part of our culture. It’s ingrained in us, and our safety has to be first and foremost.” Tuesday’s forum also served as a time for officials to reflect on the upcoming 10-year  anniversary of  Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since that time, hurricane forecasting and tracking, and impact and intensity assessments have greatly improved, Patrick said. People should keep in mind that hurricanes, such as Hurricane Audrey in 1957, Hurricane Betsy in 1965, and Hurricane Andrew in 1992 occurred in El Niño climates, he said. El Niño normally suppresses tropical storm development in the Atlantic Ocean but brings a more abundant hurricane season to the Pacific Ocean, he said. 

Shipments will help port expand import-export reach

BY ZACHARY FITZGERALD
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usda2
Above, Planters Rice Mill employees work Thursday morning to load rice from
a truck onto a barge at the Port of Morgan City’s dock.  They used an electrically
powered conveyer belt to transfer the rice. About 3,500 tons will be loaded
into two barges at the port, where it will stay until a ship arrives to take it to Haiti.
Below, Port of Morgan City Executive Director Raymond “Mac” Wade holds a handful
that fell onto the ground this morning when workers transferred rice from a truck
to a barge. Any rice that falls off the conveyer belt is disposed of, Wade said.

BY ZACHARY FITZGERALD
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progress3The Port of Morgan City’s Government $11 million Emergency and
Operations Center is shown April 15. It is located on La. 182
adjacent to the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium.  
The center is scheduled to be finished by September.

Throughout the past year, lots of activity has been going on at and around the Port of Morgan City with the beginning of construction on the port’s new Government Emergency and Operations Center and import-export ships making routine visits to the port. The Government Emergency and Operations Center project went through geotechnical work, test piles being driven, land being cleared and the concrete slabs being poured for both floors of the building in a year’s time, Port of Morgan City Executive Director Raymond “Mac” Wade said. The center will be located on La. 182 adjacent to the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium. Port officials will move into the building by the end of September, Wade said. Port officials secured $7.1 million in state capital outlay funding with state the help of state Sen. Bret Allain, R-Franklin; state Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin; and state Rep. Joe Harrison, R-Gray. The Port of Morgan City also put $3.9 million of its own funds to build the center. The building will be able to withstand a Category 5 Hurricane and has a backup generator, Wade said.

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Above, a November 2014 photo shows Planters Rice Mill of Abbeville exporting rice
from the Port of Morgan City for the first time. Trucks transported about 150 truckloads
of rice to the port in order to export 3,000 tons of rice by ship to Haiti.

Below, rice is shown as it is transferred from a truck to a barge.423151

4,000 tons of rice on way to Haiti
BY ZACHARY FITZGERALD
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In the past eight months, import-export business has become a fairly common site at the Port of Morgan City with ships making stops at the port 18 times, and that business is continuing with about 4,000 tons of rice set to be exported to Haiti within the next couple of weeks. On Monday, barges arrived at the Port of Morgan City in anticipation of a rice ship coming to the port, Port Executive Director Raymond “Mac” Wade said. The ship will export roughly 4,000 tons of rice for Planters Rice Mill in Abbeville. In November 2014, Planters Rice exported 3,000 tons of rice from the port, the first time Planters used the Port of Morgan City for export. Import-export ships have made a total of 18 trips to the port since August 2014.

42215
This file photo shows an aerial view of the Port of Morgan City.
A national study released this week found that coastal ports are
having an increasing economic impact on their communities.

Legislators push to get money for maintenance

A nationwide study of ports released Tuesday shows a big increase in the impact of coastal ports to the U.S. economy. Legislators are trying to make sure those ports get the maintenance funds they need to function at their full potential. Since the last American Association of Port Authorities economic impact study in 2007, the contributions of U.S. seaports to the nation’s economy have risen dramatically, according to a news release. From 2007 to 2014, the total economic value U.S. coastal ports provide in the form of revenue to businesses, personal income and economic output by exporters and importers rose 43 percent to $4.6 trillion in 2014, the study, performed by Pennsylvania-based company Martin Associates, reported.

BY ZACHARY FITZGERALD
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Import-export business at the Port of Morgan City is on the rise and has steadily increased since the first ship of that kind came to the port in August 2014, port officials say. Port of Morgan City Executive Director Raymond “Mac” Wade said getting into the import-export business within the past year “has put us on the map.” The port has been “very busy” and the “phones are ringing off the hook,” Wade said. The Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District commission held its monthly meeting Monday. Import-export business started coming to the port when the Oslo Bulk 9, a 360-foot-long ship being leased by PMI Nutrition International, began importing sea salt and exporting grain from the Port of Morgan City in August 2014. The ship traveled to Mexico and Haiti. PMI Nutrition International is owned by Land O’ Lakes. That business has drawn the interest of other import-export companies. Wade expects a ship operated by Planters Rice of Abbeville, possibly up to 480 feet long, to come into the port within the next 10 days, he said. The company has already exported rice from the port with a 350-foot ship. Import-export ships made a total of 18 trips to the port since August 14, Wade said.

Affiliations

National Waterways Conference Gulf Ports Assoc of the Americas Louisiana Industrial Develpment Esecutives Assoc Ports Association of Louisiana Gulf Intracostal Canal Association Inland Rivers Ports and Terminals US Coast Guard Houma

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