Whatever other damage the weekend’s blizzard caused, it’s wreaking havoc with already stressed-out state and local budgets.
Maryland has used $50 million of the $60 million it set aside for snow removal this year, Gov. Martin O’Malley said.
In Virginia, the picture was even bleaker. The state typically sets aside up to $80 million for snow jobs, but had already spent $100 million, Gov. Bob McDonnell said.
“Virginia has already used up its yearly allocation for snow plowing and removal ...” McDonnell said. “Now, it’s just one more bill to be added to our budget challenges already before us.”
In D.C., where the city government is already bursting through its budget, overtime and machinery costs were mounting. Some 750 workers had been deployed along with 275 heavy machines.
The agency had set aside $6.2 million for snow removal this year, but spent $4 million on the December 18 blizzard snow storm alone, transportation department spokesman John Lisle said.
“We’re over it,” Lisle said of the budget. “I don’t know how much, but we’re over it.”
Estimates of snowfall in the region varied at between a foot and two feet overnight. Another six inches were expected through Saturday. And more snow was predicted for Tuesday.
Keith Compton of Montgomery County’s traffic department said the county had set aside about $14 million for snow emergencies this year. The county had already spent $5 million from last month1s storm and hundreds of workers and hundreds more pieces of heavy machinery were working round-the-clock to dig out.