Boston is digging out of nearly five feet of snow in just the last two weeks. Businesses have shut down, meaning people miss out on wages and stores lose potential sales. Snow removal alone has cost Boston more than $30 million, the city’s mayor said.
That’s not good for Boston or the U.S. economy: this winter’s blizzards could cost the nation $1 billion to $2 billion this year, according to Planalytics, a weather research firm for businesses. And that’s just the tally so far.
Although that sounds bad, this winter looks balmy compared to the Polar Vortex of 2014, which cost the economy $15 billion, according to Planalytics. Some other estimates for last year were lower than Planalytics’, but still significantly higher than this year.
Time will tell whether the blizzards are enough to send the U.S. economy into negative territory again this winter.