Bollinger Shipyards LLC today reported that all 11 of its facilities are now open and operational following Hurricane Ida’s landfall last month near Port Fourchon, La., as a powerful Category 4 storm.
Bollinger’s facilities in Port Fourchon, Larose, Lockport and Houma all suffered significant damage as a result of the storm, which tied with last year’s Hurricane Laura and the Last Island Hurricane of 1856 as the strongest on record in Louisiana.
“Despite the devastation and loss suffered throughout South Louisiana, the community has rallied and today we’re proud to welcome our workforce back to our yards across the state,” said Bollinger President and CEO Ben Bordelon. “This would not have been possible without the help of our employees, vendors, municipalities, and our utility providers Entergy and SLECA. “Each year brings a new storm season, and with it, its own unique set of challenges—this year has been no different. But to know our workers is to understand the strength and resiliency of the Cajun people. I’m incredibly proud of our workforce for their dedication to getting all of our facilities back up and running safely so that we can continue delivering for our customers. In spite of record storms or the ongoing COVID‐19 global pandemic, America’s maritime defense industrial Base is unmovable.”
In advance of the storm, Bollinger Shipyards took steps to mitigate potential damages to its facilities and any resulting delays to its production schedules.
NEXT FRC SET FOR DELIVERY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Despite damages sustained to Bollinger’s Lockport facility, the 650‐man production line for the U.S. Coast Guard Fast Response Cutter program has resumed operations and Bollinger is on track to deliver the next vessel ahead of schedule.
Following the storm, the first priority for Bollinger leadership was to ensure the safety of company employees and their families, which are all safe and accounted for. A number of employees lost their homes and personal property. Many remain without access to electricity and running water. To ensure that all employees would be taken care of, Bollinger established the Bollinger Employee Relief Fund to help cover qualified essential and emergency needs of employees throughout the recovery process. The fund is administered by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, a leader in providing disaster relief.
“In the immediate aftermath of the storm, I was overwhelmed by both the stories of devastation and loss from our community, as well as the offers of support from friends, vendors, customers and others all across the country,” said Bordelon. “When my grandfather founded this company 75 years ago, he knew that taking care of employees and treating them like family was critical to ultimately delivering quality products to our customers. That’s why creating the Employee Relief Fund was a no‐brainer. It was the right thing to do and we’ll continue to put our employees first—it’s in our company’s DNA.”