Economic impacts of last winter storm begin rolling out - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Economic impacts of last winter storm begin rolling out

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CHARLESTON, SC -

As the Lowcountry begins preparing for another bout of winter weather, the economic impacts of the last storm are beginning to be realized.

Bridges, government offices and businesses were closed for days as the coast began thawing out from the storm.

"All hourly workers and businesses that didn't operate, they will take a hit for sure," Dr. Frank Hefner said.

Hefner is in the Economics department at the College of Charleston. He said the economic affects of the storm will be felt by everyone, from small businesses to some of the biggest money makers in the area.

Two of the seemingly best examples of that are the area ports and Boeing. Both places were closed for a few days.

"Obviously, Boeing shut down for two days, I believe, so that impacts their production," Hefner said. "It costs them money in order to do that, so it does hold things back."

But, Boeing officials said otherwise.

In an email to News 2, the spokesperson for Boeing said, "We have robust preparation and recovery plans for Boeing sites located around the world when it comes to various weather situations. We experienced minimal impact from the storm."

Local governments are also beginning to realize just how much the storm cost.

Charleston County officials said they had 110 employees working during the storm for a total of 2,834 hours. However, only 10% of those hours were considered, "extra," according to a county spokesperson. The county said they have yet to release any specific dollar amounts on the cost of the storm.

Dorchester County officials tell News 2 they spent nearly $48,000 on the storm. That's because they increased the number of employees in their public safety sector.

Berkeley County said they have yet to calculate any of their numbers at this time. An official did say they expect the impact to be minimal.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation expects to release their data on February 20. The Ports Authority did not respond to emails requesting economic information.

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