Hurricane Matthew will cost the state of South Carolina almost $64 million, even after the federal government picks up most of the cost for the October disaster, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s office said Wednesday.
The Republican governor plans to ask that S.C. lawmakers include that $64 million in next year’s budget, her office said.
Matthew, which briefly made landfall in South Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, caused nearly $341 million in damage to public property, according to estimates provided by the governor’s office. About $100 million of that damage was to state-owned roads.
Federal programs will cover most of those costs. But state government still is on the hook for $30.4 million in damages to state roads and $33.5 million in damages to public buildings and other infrastructure, debris removal costs and the cost of emergency protective procedures, including evacuations.
Officials could not yet estimate the storm’s damage to private households or businesses. But the hurricane’s damage to public assets will prove smaller than the historic October 2015 flooding, according to estimates by the governor’s office.
Haley’s office estimated last year’s flooding would cost the state $114 million.
However, lawmakers spent roughly $150 million in state money on flood costs, including $40 million in grants to S.C. farmers that Haley unsuccessfully opposed.
Still, the $64 million will knock a dent in the added $446 million that legislators will have to spend next year.
That total includes $139 million reserved for one-time costs — like building projects — if the state closes its books with a surplus. The state’s next budget will take effect July 1.
Hurricane Matthew caused $52 million in insured crop losses and $32 million in lost or displaced tourism revenue for downtown Charleston, Hilton Head Island and the Grand Strand, according to Haley’s office.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has paid out $32.6 million to affected families, and the U.S. Small Business Association has offered $25.1 million in low-interest recovery loans to S.C. families and businesses.
FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program has paid out an estimated $28.1 million to S.C. policy-holders, and private insurance companies have paid out an estimated $541.2 million for storm-caused damage, according to the estimates.
Twenty-five roads across the state remain closed, down from 481 immediately after the storm.