Costs from major natural disasters can stress state budgets - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Costs from major natural disasters can stress state budgets

Flooding in Pinckney Colony, Bluffton, SC, during Hurricane Irma. (Source: Emily Grace Hale) Flooding in Pinckney Colony, Bluffton, SC, during Hurricane Irma. (Source: Emily Grace Hale)

By CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY and BOB SALSBERG
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - A summer of natural catastrophes has exposed another peril in disaster-prone states: How to pay for the rescues, repairs and rebuilding.

The combined tab from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is expected to hit $200 billion or more. While the federal government is expected to pay most of that, the affected state and local governments have to start paying for recovery now and eventually could be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars.

Florida and South Carolina, both hit by Hurricane Irma, are among the dozen or so states that do not have dedicated disaster funds and opt to cover the expenses after the fact.

Experts say such pay-as-you-go disaster funding can be risky, especially if the economy starts going sour.

Follow the reporters on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AP_Christina and http://twitter.com/bsalsberg_ap .

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