Costs mounting from relentless winter storms

Winter weather taking a toll on state and local agency budgets
February 17, 2014 10:07:57 AM PST
Costs are mounting after last week's debilitating winter storm.

Not only has this relentless winter season taken a toll on state and local agency budgets, but it's also having a negative economic impact on businesses.

"We generate about $165 million a day of economic activity, and I would peg the total cost in the neighborhood of $15 to $20 million of total losses that aren't going to be recovered," said Mike Walden, an economist with NC State.

Walden said while some of the money lost last week could still come to retailers later, many missed out on Valentine's Day outings.

"You can't replay the holiday," he said. "My wife's already said she doesn't want the flowers after Valentine's Day. And she did not get the flowers on Valentine's Day."

Places like malls, and retailers that count on convenient consumer access to stores had to close early Wednesday and some stayed shuttered on Thursday.

"There was a bit of gridlock on Glenwood," said Pam Guthrie, an employee at Crabtree Valley Mall. "I myself had to pull my car over and walk home about two miles."

It also cost the state and city transportation departments a lot of money to clear the roadways to make it safe for drivers following the storm.

"It's a hit on our budget, and it's going to be a hit on our economy because people haven't been spending money in the past four or five days," Governor Pat McCrory said on ABC's 'This Week.'

The cost didn't just impact businesses, but also motorists who were stranded in the storm due to weather related wrecks.

"We've seen quite a bit of suspension damage," said Tana Malerba with Coats Auto Body. "People going off road, up on curbs, we've seen quite a bit of that."

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