Last week, Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 hurricane and the fifth-most powerful storm to strike the United States, made landfall with maximum winds of 150 mph, causing damage to the electrical grid in many locations, especially in and around the New Orleans area. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) would like to offer its condolences to those affected by the storm and its aftereffects.
“The toll on human lives in and around New Orleans is immeasurable, and we hope our members’ operations will be up and running soon, considering the Mississippi and the Port of New Orleans are now open,” said Ryan LeGrand, USGC president and CEO, “but we know it will continue to be an arduous process. Our hearts go out to them and to the more than one million citizens in the area who have been and continue to be affected in the storm’s aftermath.”
The storm left thousands of Louisiana residents without electricity; however, work is being done throughout the region to restore utility services. The restoration process is expected to be slow, as many residents in the area remain without power. At this time, Entergy, the local power company, does not have a firm estimate on when power will return for all.
In a recent interview with CNBC, Brandy Christian, Port of New Orleans CEO, said that while the port held up rather well under the circumstances, the uncertainty surrounding power outages and locating workers continues to be a challenge. The Port of New Orleans is one of the top ten busiest ports in the U.S., with one in five Louisiana jobs related to it. Additionally, the New Orleans region is the largest outlet for U.S. feed grain exports.
USGC members that provide services and grain export elevation in the New Orleans region have had various levels of impaction, but all are working to resume operation as quickly as they can.
“It will take some time for the New Orleans and the lower Mississippi River region to get back to normal operations. How long is still difficult to tell, but we expect the grain market and U.S. exporters to make adjustments in the coming weeks to keep grains and oilseed exports from the U.S. moving as we enter the normally busy fall season,” Cary Sifferath, USGC’s senior director of global programs, said.
Additionally, the Council continues to update its international staff and its global contacts as it learns more about the situation.
USGC will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as more details arise.
About The U.S. Grains Council
The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 28 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org.