Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Economic Effects of Recent Storms Will Linger for a Long Time

On September 16, 2011, the News Item, a newspaper in central Pennsylvania, reported:

Shickshinny is a town with just one supermarket, gas station, pharmacy and bank. Right now, it has none.

The small down-valley community on the west side of the Susquehanna River has been crippled by the great flood of 2011. Of the 38 businesses in the small borough, only two survived -- a hair salon and an insurance office. No one seems to know when the other business owners could reopen -- or if they want to.

"I don't know what the outlook is," a teary-eyed Shickshinny Mayor Beverly Moore said Thursday at her flooded Canal Street home, minutes after arriving from a 10-mile trip to Nanticoke to gas up her car. "I don't know what businesses are going to stay and what ones are going to go."

This is just another example of the fallout and lingering economic impact of recent bad weather across the country.

There is a real tragedy brewing here as families who were already on the edge financially face the prospect of rebuilding their lives. As I wrote in Newsday last week,

After decades of disappearing jobs, declining wages and increasing expenses. . . people across New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maryland, the Carolinas, Texas and elsewhere lack the savings needed to weather these unexpected economic shocks. Well before the spate of recent bad weather, or the recent recession, millions of middle- and working-class families were already under water. more