By: Kali Hays with contributions from Adriana Lee and Sharon Edelson
A lack of data, missing factors and moving winds have economic impact estimates differing widely.
. . . Last year’s Hurricane Florence caused an estimated $700 million in lost sales, and 2017’s Hurricane Irma negatively impacted the industry by more than $2 billion.
Evan Gold, an executive vice president at Planalytics, noted that the outages in California are genuinely unprecedented, in that they’re an interruption before a weather event has actually occurred, something for which he could think of no real comparison.
“This is a very unique situation,” he said.
Given this, and the still missing piece of how long outages will last, Gold declined to put a dollar amount on the economic impact for retail in the state. He also noted that if the outages stay under a million people, which is the current status, the impact may not be too great.
“That’s still a lot of people, but if it gets into the next million and more into Southern California, then you’re talking an exponential increase of economic impact because of the population,” Gold said. . . .