Some workers at the USDA Office of the Chief Financial Officer National Finance Center (NFC) in New Orleans have been relocated to an alternate work site in Bossier City, Louisiana, following a strike by an EF-3 tornado.
The tornado struck the facility around 11:20 a.m. on February 7, and within 12 hours, teams were relocated to the Bossier City site.
Around 1,300 employees work at the New Orleans office, where payroll is processed for more than 650,000 federal workers across 172 agencies. The NFC staff also reconciles health insurance premiums for the entire federal workforce, handles the retiree benefits that are submitted to the Office of Personnel Management, provides payment to all USDA vendors, distributes block grants to states, and performs all financial management functions for the USDA, according to a USDA press release.
Currently, there are about 182 employees working from the Bossier City site, located about 350 miles north of New Orleans. About 300 other displaced workers are telecommuting.
NFC leadership is working to find another facility closer to New Orleans to get the rest of the employees back to work as quickly as possible.
"Our first priority, now that we know everyone is safe and we have our business operations running, is getting back to New Orleans," said Calvin Turner, Director of the NFC.