Weekend snow costs local economy millions

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February 3, 2010 4:26:58 AM PST
Last weekend's snow storm is dealing a crushing blow to the local economy.

Wake, Durham and Orange counties lost an estimated 15 to 20 million dollars a day during the storm, according to North Carolina State University economics Professor Michael Walden.

That means from Saturday through Monday, the storm has cost the Triangle 45 to 60 million dollars in retail sales.

That's tax revenue local governments depend on to provide services like police protection and trash pickup.

And in the western part of the state, counties can expect federal assistance for damage caused by winter storms in December.

President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration on Tuesday.

NC should receive more than $9 million to help clean up from recent snow storms. State agencies, 13 county governments and some private nonprofits will be eligible for federal funds to share the costs for $12.5 million in emergency work and repairs.

Western North Carolina got up to 2 feet of snow the weekend of Dec. 18, followed by heavy rains and ice a week later -- knocking out power, damaging roads and stranding motorists.

The declaration covers Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Haywood, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties.

Governor Beverly Perdue declared a state emergency in 15 counties two weeks ago.

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