* U.S. Gulf Coast shipyards to reopen on Tuesday
* Company still assessing damage from storm
WASHINGTON Aug 30 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,
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.