I am in Toronto, Canada this week, and haven’t had much time to follow anything. I think there is lots of news coverage relating to the fledgling recovery. Gabrielle posted a link to some pictures. I really wish I could head down there and pitch in along side everyone else.
I have learned that many of the flooded homes in Bridge City are turning out to be unsalvageable. Much of Galveston and Crystal Beach and Point Bolivar and Sabine Pass were simply wiped off the map. Those homes don’t even exist anymore. On the plus side, I also heard that electricity is on in Mauriceville, which is good.
It looks like FEMA and the Red Cross and the National Guard are all jumping in now. I hope that continues.
My one big worry though is about the private insurers. With the credit crisis and the recent financial implosion over the weekend, I worry about how much the private insurers are going to be able to pay the claims that the Texas Gulf Coast residents are trying desperately to file. The degree that the private insurers’ assets are tied up in these firms will directly relate to how many claims they will be able to pay out. I think that the Texas Gulf Coast is going to be very dependent on the Federal (and to a lesser degree, the State) government to help get the money to clean up and rebuild. With the credit crunch putting a squeeze on people, and the loss of all collateral (aka houses) everyone is going to be in a tight place.
I would recommend that everyone affected (and anyone else concerned) by this add one more call to their list. Call your state and federal representatives and push them to start working on allocating funds to help all these communities rebuild. Yes, I’m asking you to call and press the government before there is a dire need to do so, because (1) I remember how poorly Rita and Katrina aftermath was handled, (2) we have far more leverage while the news organizations are still focused on the Texas gulf coast, and (3) if the government does act, it’s notoriously slow.
Here are the numbers if you are interested: