Tuesday, August 30, 2005

America Pulls Through

The Gulf Coast has taken a terrible beating (WSJ, subscription), but New Orleans was not swamped, our friends are OK, and European pessimists are disappointed.

Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, leaving more than a million people without power, lowlands swamped and at least 55 dead. New Orleans was spared utter devastation, but Mississippi beach communities to the east felt the full fury. Winds early Tuesday were still a dangerous 60 mph. The storm shut down a big chunk of oil and natural-gas production, rattling energy markets.

In spite of which the $ has strengthened about 1% against the Euro and £ since yesterday.

As expected:

Private citizens were already conducting rescue efforts. In New Orleans, Mark Morice, 35, steered his boat through four feet of water, downed power lines and broken tree limbs. "We are going out, there are people out there on top of homes," he said.

Volunteering in a crisis is an Anglo characteristic. When Mrs G and I crossed London's Edgware Road (eerily deserted of traffic) 2 hours after the 7/7 bombings, the workers in the local Marks and Spencer clothing store had set up a field hospital on their own volition and cops were taking the walking wounded there from the site of one of the bombings.