A dispatch from Harry on New Orleans

Patrick, Great to hear from you. I am now in Gulf Shores playing hooky with Mary. We embrace any chance to get out of New Orleans. Indeed the damage is staggering-and depressing. One report estimates that over 50% of local residents have clinically significant depression. Every day brings news of businesses failing or moving away. Even in the French Quarter many shops have shut down. It is a real Catch 22. With so many homes and apartments destroyed or unoccupiable, businesses cannot find workers or customers. Workers cannot return because there is no place to live. It is numbing to drive through New Orleans and see mile after mile of severely damaged homes. Even when utilities are restored many will not be able to build. They may not be eligible for insurance and without that they cannot qualify for a mortgage. Most did not have flood insurance, so they do not have enough equity to obtain a loan. Without employment, a loan is a pipe dream. I think you get the picture. Gotta run. I’ll write more later today. Harry

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