10/27/2005

A Little Bit of Normalcy

This past Monday, we peeled shrimp for the first time since Hurricane Katrina hit. We had to use another processing plants facilities, but we peeled shrimp. I had a payroll this week. It was about 70 short of the number of checks I normally do at this time of the year, but it was a payroll. My immediate boss and I have argued at least once a day this week. Usually it's around 3 or 4 a day, but at least we are arguing again. Those arguments are a great source of amusement for all. We had our first real one on Monday. He left the office smiling and I couldn't stop laughing.

Our freezer has a small amount of shrimp in the blast room. But it has shrimp. The holding room, where the frozen shrimp is stored will have it's repairs to one section completed by next week.

The view from inside


Our retail customers have been coming by in a steady stream and seem as heartbroken as we are that it will be almost a year before the market will reopen. Our seafood market is a tradition around here and people flock to it, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas to help complete their meals. James, the market manager, is a well loved guy. He is friendly and has a great sense of humor.

James, market manager, a partial view of the market

Our commercial customers are very loyal and are waiting until we can get our production up. This weeks commercial sales were a third of what we usually have, but we had sales.

The seafood industry in Biloxi and along the Gulf Coast took a severe beating. There is only one processing plant that is operational and another that will be operational in the next week or two. The oyster plants are all gone and the waters where they are harvested have been decimated. But owners of the oyster processing plants say they will be back.

To give you an idea of the impact Hurricane Katrina has had on the shrimp processing plants, last year for the month of October, we peeled close to a million pounds of shrimp at our factory alone. So far, for October, we have peeled under 30,000 pounds.

We have not yet been able to start rebuilding the plant, the offices, or the market. The City of d'Iberville has yet to issue building permits, but indications are that they will start issuing permits sometime this week.

Most of what was left of the plant has been cleared. All that will be left is the slab from which we'll rebuild.

The only plans I haven't seen are for our new offices. I told them to be sure to include a jacuzzi. One of my other bosses is okay with that, with one caveat, we will have to wear bikinis everyday. Oh yeah, I also told them that we needed to have a patio area with a table that has an umbrella, need time to soak up some rays! I love where I work!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Felis said...

Seawitch,
I haven't "heard" such a happy post from you in weeks if not months.
God, I am happy that things are getting better in your part of the world.

2:16 AM  
Anonymous seawitch said...

felis,

it's good to see that things are starting to happen and be rebuilt.

5:33 AM  

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