Via email from a correspondent who wishes to remain anonymous.
“Everything from insurance to utilities costs more in New Orleans. For the moment, even regular food jobs pay more because there is a dearth of employees. However the word is glum on the corporate side. Corporate USA seems unsure about when and if New Orleans will ever be a safe place to do business again. NOLA levees did not hold up to a Cat 3 hurricane, and now the levees are damaged. Several companies are either moving out completely, or returning only with scaled down operations. This week two more local firms announced plans to leave NOLA, plus Nokia cancelled sponsorship of the Sugar Bowl.
“Another reason not to return to NOLA is that there is no reason to endure the enormous stress of rebuilding everything and looking at the devastation every day. The next hurricane season is only six months away…. and the clock is ticking down. Vero Beach and several other areas of Florida were hit three times in past two years. With NOLA levee safety in such serious jeopardy, it only takes a small hurricane to mess things up there again.
“Even if the levees and future hurricanes were not a problem, it’ll take decades to rebuild New Orleans. That is enormous task considering the state, city, schools and hundreds of businesses are now bankrupt with no customers or major income. The weekly media attention you see about NOLA and their problems can be nauseating when you consider NOLA is just one area that was affected by storms that bulldozed dozens of communities across TX, LA, MS, AL, and FL. There are numerous small towns and cities that experienced far more destruction and devastation than NOLA, but they do not receive the ink that NOLA does. Probably because they don’t complain like NOLA does.
“Being averse to further risk and chance to lose everything, we bought home in Xxx two weeks ago. We continue to maintain home in Xxx suburb of New Orleans while son returns to attend high school. Will be selling lot in the Xxx where we formerly planned to build Greek revival cotttage. The good news is that unlike most New Orleanians, we are not upside down with no jobs, no home, no possessions and high mortgage bills, however we are stretched to the max with two mortgages, a lot note, and two sets of utility bills. Expenses such as telephone service, health and fitness membership, dining out (even McD) are now unaffordable.”