Port of New Orleans CEO Gary LaGrange estimates it will cost close to $1.7 billion to repair or replace damaged assets and make improvements after the port suffered severe damage from Hurricane Katrina. The port, which generated about $18 billion in economic output last year and served as the U.S.' largest transit point for coffee, lumber, plywood, rubber and steel, is in a virtual shutdown after flooding displaced nearly all of its 350 workers.

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