Hurricanes affect eastern North Carolina economy

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — “The storm is spinning up funnel clouds and threatening tornados. The state told more than 6 million residents to evacuate” were the sounds heard over the television when Irma and Harvey made landfall.

Hurricanes tear up our towns and cities.

“Like the governor said we have activated a level four here at the EOC.”

Ultimately forcing people to go out and spend money to stock up on supplies.

“Empty grocery shelves and school closings.”

“There are no generators currently east of Raleigh, and that’s because people have come in and bought them so quickly.”

“Fifty percent of the pumps in Miami and fort Lauderdale have run dry.”

This leaves the hurricane’s targets under water and in economic trouble.

“An economic loss will have chain reaction,” said professor and economic department chair, Haiyong Liu.

This will force higher gas and produce prices.

“The property damage, that includes the agricultural product…the fruits and produce, especially from Irma,” said Liu.

Although the growing prices of produce is something you’ll have to worry about in our area, there are other factors to consider.

“Potential workers moving away cause they perceive this region doesn’t really have the bright economic future it did before,” said Liu.

Hurricanes ultimately force companies to relocate and consumption to be put on a downhill slope.

“When the storm didn’t really come or hit them and they will probably return the product or if they keep the product, probably will delay the consumption of the similar product in the future.”

So next time a storm hits…remember this statement.

“When we say we’re in this together, we literally mean we’re in this together…one way or another we’re paying for it,” said Liu.

Although our economy takes a big hit, I decided to ask if there was a silver lining in all of this. Liu said yes – for contractors, builders and utility companies. This is a time where they work very hard and tirelessly, but also make their money.

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