At more than $5 million, the estimate for costs to the state for our winter storms is, of course, far from the total. The indirect costs in lost business from congestion in traffic alone — time is indeed money — was much greater.
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber estimated the loss to the regional economy at $40 million. And that is only one region of the state. It’s a huge impact on business when there is a closure of Interstate 10 all across the state from Lake Charles to New Orleans, as well as other closures and disruptions.
Unfortunately, these are the results of acts of God. Shutdowns for safety reasons were certainly justified, and the large number of traffic accidents logged in the storms showed that road closures were needed.
We are glad to be rid of the Deep Freeze of 2014, and look forward to warmer weather and Mardi Gras to bring us back emotionally, but there are real financial costs to such big-time storm events.