The economic impact of the massive snowstorm blanketing much of the East Coast will likely be blunted due to people hunkering down for the weekend, experts say, but a significant chunk of the cost will depend on how cities respond, NBC News reports.
Weather intelligence service Planalytics Inc. estimates that with roughly 70 million people in the storm's path, the damage will be anywhere from $585 to $850 million.
"That's a big chunk of the nation. And what happens with storms like this is everything just kind of stops, including money," said Planalytics president Scott Bernhardt, though he noted that storms that hit on a weekend have less of an economic impact than storms that occur during a work week.
The damage that snowstorms of this size inflict on the economy is real. In 2015, the largest insured loss event worldwide was one of the winter storms that hit the East Coast, with insured losses estimated at $2 billion.