Cameron expecting surge of activity from oil spill

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

CAMERON PARISH, LA. (KPLC) -The oil spill to the east of us could bring a surge of business activity to Cameron Parish--which will need to provide support to offshore businesses that may not be able to come inshore east of here due to the spill.

Offshore the businesses that operate rigs and such rely on crew boats and supply boats that come in to get the support needed for those out in the Gulf. But the oil spill is likely to cut off access near Port Fourchon. Here on the Ship Channel in Cameron Parish Martin Midstream is gearing up to provide support to businesses east of here who, because of the oil spill, may rely on help from this area.

"The blowout is somewhere in this area here, says area manager Dwight Savoie.  Helping to accommodate business dealing with a disaster is a role Savoie has helped fill before after Hurricane Katrina. He says the biggest challenge in this current situation will be getting adequate labor to help. "It's gonna be tough. The hurricanes have caused so much devastation in this area and a lot of people haven't come back. So, a lot of the labor force is not here any more."

Much of how it plays out will depend on wind and weather, but the key issue is the duration of the leak. Says Savoie, "I'm looking at it as a sprint. It's a sprint that could turn into a marathon depending on what happens on them controlling that blowout. If they are able to get it under control and stop the leak, then everything might get back to normal in a couple of months. But if they don't, then it could be five, six months. Could be longer."

And so while business stemming from the spill may have a positive influence for Cameron Parish, Savoie hopes things get back to normal without hardship for any part of the state.

Savoie says they do expect to need temporary labor in Cameron Parish because of the spill. They'll need those who are forklift, rigger and crane certified. For more information call 1-800-259-5223.

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