The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Baltimore, a Reeking Hellhole of a City, Somehow Just Got Even Worse

Posted on | March 26, 2024 | 1 Comment

Whenever I’m trying to describe conditions in some poverty-stricken, violence-ridden Third World country like Haiti, my habit is to say it’s so bad, it’s worse than Baltimore, which is about as bad as it gets in America. Nothing good ever happens in Baltimore, a city crammed full of bad people, where Joe Biden got 88% of the vote in 2020.

The only thing functional about Baltimore is that it’s one of the largest seaports on the East Coast, but even that’s gone for now:

The Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed early Tuesday after a support column was hit by a large container ship that had lost power, sending vehicles and people into the Patapsco River, authorities said.
Six people remain unaccounted for, Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said in a mid-morning news conference. Two other people were rescued from the water.
All eight people were part of a construction crew that was filling potholes on the bridge at the time, Wiedefeld said. Jennifer Homendy, the chair of the National Transportation Security Board, said Tuesday afternoon that the workers were employed by local company Brawner Builders.
One of the rescued workers was unhurt. The other was treated at the University of Maryland Medical Center and has been discharged, CBS Baltimore station WJZ reported. . . .

The story goes on about this relatively trivial aspect of the destruction of a major infrastructure element before getting to this:

The ship — the Singapore-flagged Dali — was operated by charter vessel company Synergy Marine Group and was chartered by Maersk, carrying Maersk customers’ cargo, the companies said.
There were 22 crew members, including two pilots, aboard the ship, according to a statement from Synergy. All 22 crew members are Indian nationals. Synergy said it had activated its incident response team and is cooperating with state and federal officials. Homendy said that the NTSB is communicating with Singaporean officials as part of their investigation. . . .
Officials have confirmed that the ship lost power right before the collision. Moore said that the crew notified authorities of a “power issue.”
Two U.S. officials told CBS News that multiple alarms rang out on the ship, alerting pilots and crew to an issue on board. The crew ran several system tests to attempt to remedy the loss of propulsion from the motor, but the tests proved unsuccessful. At that point, the pilot alerted the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Transit Authority.
Roughly two minutes elapsed between when the ship’s pilot notified state authorities of an issue on board and when the bridge collapsed, Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski said.
Officials said in a news conference that the call allowed officials to order a mayday and stop traffic onto the bridge. . . .

The main span of the bridge is wide enough that there was no reason the ship should have been anywhere near the support pylons, and the loss of power on the ship thus would explain why it was so far off course. The real story here is the economic damage that this catastrophe has wrought by shutting down the port:

The Francis Scott Key Bridge spans the Patapsco River, a key waterway that serves with the Port of Baltimore as a hub for East Coast shipping.
CBS News Baltimore reports that the 1.6-mile span was used by some 31,000 people per day and carried 11.5 million vehicles annually.
The Maryland Transportation Authority said all lanes were closed in both directions on I-695. Traffic was being detoured to I-95 and I-895.
All ship traffic at the port, the second-largest seaport in the mid-Atlantic region, has been halted. According to Census data, the Port of Baltimore handled more than $80 billion in imports and exports in 2023, marking a 20-year record.

Do the math — divide $80 billion by 365 — and you realize that America loses about $220 million a day in commerce for every day the port of Baltimore is inoperative. So while it’s all fine and good to wring your hands about the six missing workers who were plunged into the river by this disaster, the far more important matter is how soon the wreckage of the bridge can be cleared so as to restore cargo shipping to the port.

It will take many years to rebuild this bridge, but no time should be wasted in the immediate task of getting this shipping channel open again. In the meantime, more freight will be diverted to New York, Savannah, Jacksonville and other East Coast ports, but there is only so much cargo any port is equipped to handle, and the loss of the port at Baltimore will have serious economic consequences. But don’t worry — Secretary of Transportation Pete Bootigieg is on the job, and Joe Biden’s got another phony personal anecdote to share with America:

Traveling by car from Wilmington, Delaware, to D.C., you’d probably take U.S. 301 to U.S. 50 — going nowhere near Baltimore — or else you might go straight through Baltimore on I-95, but there’s no reason why you’d detour around the south side of the city on I-695 to cross the Francis Scott Key Bridge. As for the Amtrak route through Baltimore, from the city’s Penn Station on Charles Street, it loops around to the west before heading south toward D.C., which is to say it goes nowhere near the Key Bridge. Another day, another bullshit anecdote from the senile old liar.


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One Response to “Baltimore, a Reeking Hellhole of a City, Somehow Just Got Even Worse”

  1. Baltimore Sucks its Way to New Lows in Sucking - The DaleyGator
    March 27th, 2024 @ 12:49 pm

    […] Yes I know, you are thinking Baltimore cannot get any suckier……….The Other McCain disagrees […]