What's next? Irene has gone. Now it's time to look at budgets, spending, the next step
There is a lot to look at in the wake of Hurricane Irene, not the least of which is what this latest disaster declaration is going to cost this county and the state, not to mention the country.
Cleanup is not cheap -- and then there were the costs associated with emergency preparedness and taking care of those who needed shelter from the storm.
There was damage of course, and agriculture, especially in this area, took a real hit as the water and winds attacked what was still in the fields.
And now we know that we have somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion in costs already -- with that total expected to rise.
If there was any doubt in your mind that federal, state and local governments need to operate with a cushion and some restraint when it comes to spending, this should convince you.
There is no way to predict what a disaster will cost or when it will hit. President Barack Obama cannot do it, and neither can Gov. Bev Perdue. But with the state and federal governments so cash-strapped, it is time to think about where money is going to come from in case we have yet another emergency ... if we manage to fund the cleanup from this one.
Budgets are not political footballs -- or at least they should not be. They are tools to manage finances so this country is ready to handle not only the day-to-day expenses, but the surprises.
Action needs to be taken now to make sure that fiscal preparedness is in place -- and quickly.
Published in Editorials on September 6, 2011 10:35 AM