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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Storm Damage

The economic costs of various disasters keeps adding up. It’s putting a huge strain on an already wonky economy.

The widespread flooding damage from hurricane Irene was unexpected. Nobody even gave a thought to places like Vermont being heavily damaged. Who could have expected a tropical storm would eventually bring the Northeast to its knees? Every time I check the news reports about the storm damages, the estimated price tag goes up a few billion.

Right now tropical storm Lee, which seems to have sprung up out of nowhere, is soaking Louisiana. Billions of dollars were spent upgrading flood protection in New Orleans. Last time I checked it appeared that the protections are working. What if it fails? What if another storm appears while the system is at maximum capacity? My bet is that New Orleans won’t be rebuilt. The French Quarter and some other tourist and rich sections might be saved, but most of the city would be abandoned.

Hurricane Katia could hold some surprises. What if it follows Irene’s path? How’s that for a nightmare scenario?

Federal disaster money is insufficient to fund current disasters. Many have already forgotten, but the winter provided some damaging snow and ice storms. Spring brought flooding and tornadoes. People are still dealing with storms that most of the world has already forgotten. Fresh disasters force old ones out of the news.

One can question the Federal Government’s role in all this. Some politicians are saying it’s not the job of the Feds to rescue and rebuild. Many of the same people were all for rescuing banks, corporations and CEOs. Trillions were available for that. There’s no problem sending helicopters to Iraq and Afghanistan, but Vermont’s National Guard had none left in country for rescue operations. There’s plenty of “Socialist” support for big business. (Should I say “Fascist?”) When it comes to helping real people and mom and pop businesses, the politicians are all Libertarian about it. It’s their own fault not carrying enough insurance. As if people in mountainous parts of New England are going to carry things like flood insurance, or better yet, earthquake insurance. Isn’t the whole idea of government to be there for the things local people can’t deal with?

What will the future bring? Nobody knows, but I’m guessing more and more, we’ll be left to deal with problems on our own. Better have some preps and local community support.


1 comment:

  1. In our country, if you're not wealthy, you don't matter...