There are storms, and there are storms. Our most recent bit of volatile weather left little behind, except some rain and this fleeting rainbow, touching down on an anchored wheat freighter off Pier 86 in Elliott Bay.
While, Asian demand and a reputation for high-quality grain have helped the Pacific Northwest increase its market share of U.S. wheat exports from 30 percent in 1980 to about 42 percent today, Midwestern farmers, and the Gulf Coast shipping industry, are suffering from the calm after the storm.
Prior to Katrina, about 62% of U.S. wheat and soybean exports came down the Mississippi River and out through the Port of New Orleans. This has been drastically reduced as a result of 1/3 of the port being destroyed, cruise ships (providing temporary housing for about 5,370 evacuees) taking up moorage, and sunken barges creating hazards in shipping lanes.
UPDATE: Bent reader, and Port of Seattle spokesperson, Mick Shultz let us know, "the grain exported through the elevator at Pier 86 is not Northwest grown wheat but primarily corn and soy beans grown in the upper Midwest." Probably where the other end of the rainbow touched down.