Thursday, September 08, 2005

America Rises

Predictably, the doom mongers of the world's lefty MSM are proving wrong, and the Gulf is coming back much faster then they'd predicted. That's because leftys don't understand the skill, technology, science, organization, steadfastness and courage of the engineers upon which their miserable lives depend.

To remind you of the timeline:
- Monday August 29, 6:10 AM CT. Katrina makes landfall in Louisiana.
- Tuesday August 30,. Two levees break in New Orleans and the city fills.

Remember New Orleans would never recover? Here's its
business district on Tuesday night, 7 days after the levees broke.

And that pathetic Army Corps of Engineers dropping sandbags to try to plug the gaps in those levees?

September 7: Pumps remove floodwaters through the repaired 17th Street canal levee

Or the destruction of US oil production in the Gulf and the expected recession? (WSJ, subscription, my ellipsis)?

1:21 a.m. ET Sept 8: Anglo-Australian resources group BHP Billiton said it restarted most of its oil and gas production in the Gulf, just one day after saying output was halted indefinitely. All but two of BHP's six oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico have restarted production, it said.

2:30 a.m.ET Sept 8: The Energy Department said domestic oil production and refinery output should return to pre-hurricane levels by November, as repairs are made to damaged oil rigs and Gulf coast refineries.

And Schroder bragging last week that the disaster showed the weakness of US capitalism compared with German socialism? (WSJ, subscription):

Besides cash, companies have handed out free drugs, suspended finance payments on cars and mortgages and helped emergency personnel with equipment. As interesting, though, has been the application of corporate best practices -- from supply-chain management to logistics -- to a natural disaster.

The private-sector planning began before Katrina hit. Home Depot's "war room" had transferred high-demand items -- generators, flashlights, batteries and lumber -- to distribution areas surrounding the strike area. Phone companies readied mobile cell towers and sent in generators and fuel. Insurers flew in special teams and set up hotlines to process claims.

This planning allowed the firms to resume serving customers in record time. Katrina shut down 126 Wal-Mart facilities; all but 14 are now open. Entergy, the power company for 1.1 million households and businesses that lost electricity, had restored electricity by Monday to 575,000 customers, including areas of flooded New Orleans.

Supply-chain management and logistics don't get much coverage in the MSM. They're mind-bogglingly complex, use very advanced software and clever math, and work in the real world - all areas where your average journo is challenged. However they support the global infrastructure of forecasting, planning, procurement, manufacture, shipping, warehousing and distribution that enables your local supermarket to reliably stock your favorite cereal brand, 24*7.

I've been tracking many more details: bridges being patched, distribution centers created, logistics neworks regrowing, and computer grids coming back.

Still a lot to do. But this is awesome.