FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A sudden storm that rolled through northern Indiana last week likely left behind tens of millions of dollars of damage to homes and businesses in Fort Wayne, an economist said.
Michael Hicks told The Journal Gazette that property damage from a storm like last Friday’s could easily add up to $20 million.
Most economic studies are suspect, but off-the-cuff estimates of economic impact like this one seem especially bogus, little more than a swag. How do you decide what's a gain and what's a loss when it comes to storm aftermath? I have to replace the food in my refrigerator and freezer, which will cost, let's say, $500. That's a $500 loss to me but a $500 gain for the supermarket. So how do you count it when it comes to storm "damage"? In almost every aspect of the aftermath, you can see the same dichotomy. The costs to the utility in overtime and pole replacement, for example, are assets elsewhere in the economy.