Huntington Ingalls' Gulf shipyards remain closed after hurricane

Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:52pm EDT

* U.S. Gulf Coast shipyards to reopen on Tuesday

* Company still assessing damage from storm

WASHINGTON Aug 30 (Reuters) - U.S. shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc said all three of its Gulf Coast shipyards in Mississippi and Louisiana would remain closed until next week after Hurricane Isaac swept through the region.

Huntington Ingalls, which was spun off from defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp last year, had hoped to reopen on Thursday, but said its facilities would stay closed until Tuesday while damage assessment continued.

Company spokeswoman Beci Brenton declined to give any details about how their facilities had fared in the storm.

Isaac caused widespread flooding after hitting Louisiana at hurricane strength on Tuesday. The storm has since been downgraded to a tropical depression, but it left a soggy mess across areas of the Gulf and could still bring heavy downpours and more flooding as it moves into the central United States.

The company's shipyards suffered an estimated $1 billion of losses and damage when Hurricane Katrina devastated the region seven years ago.

Huntington Ingalls has 2,600 employees at its 268-acre Avondale shipyard outside New Orleans; employs some 900 people at its 120-acre shipyard in Gulfport, Mississippi, and about 9,000 workers at its 800-acre Pascagoula, Mississippi facility, Brenton said.

The company is building two LPD amphibious assault ships at the Avondale shipyard, while six ships -- including one destroyer and three amphibious assault ships -- are under construction at the Pascagoula shipyard.

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