Tuesday, September 23, 2008
A Belated Gustav Thought
The national media has understandably moved on to Hurricane Ike's devastation, but overlooking Hurricane Gustav because there was minimal physical damage is wrong. Its economic impact on New Orleans has been brutal. Think of it this way - the entire city was forced to go on vacation at the same time whether people had money to go or not. That forced many people to spend money they didn't have, which meant they came back needy and in danger of missing bill, mortgage and loan payments. That also meant the city's businesses for the most part lost a week of business, and because people were financially strapped after the storm and evacuation, no one did good business after opening with the exception of places like Sam's Club and Wal-Mart. That sort of financial blackout at the end of the worst time of year for New Orleans - the summer - may not be devastating on the order of Katrina, but it has been much harder on the city than anyone who isn't living here realizes.