Storm Will Cost Millions To The Economy

Wednesday, December 19th 2007, 4:30 pm
By: News On 6

The ice storm's impact will be hundreds of millions of dollars. There are cleanup costs, damage to homes and utilities. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports the storm and power outages are also having a big impact on businesses, especially those that lost a week of Christmas sales.

The Southern Hospitality store on South Main in Broken Arrow was one of thousands of businesses that lost power right in the middle of the Christmas shopping season.

"We were down that Monday through Saturday,” said Southern Hospitality owner April Seidel.

The outage wiped out a full week of Christmas sales at the shop which sells antiques and creative handmade designs. Owner April Siedel says with so few days left before Christmas, there isn't enough time to make up the 20% in December losses.

"It's really too late to make. It's really too late to create and to pull those customers in. So we've just settled in now,” said Southern Hospitality owner April Seidel.

The Palate at Ranch Acres near 31st and Harvard is another business that lost power. Five days without electricity meant no lunch crowd. Owner Jay Cline says thankfully, most holiday catering jobs lost during the week are being rescheduled.

"It ebbs and flows. The storm hit, it surely did. I think we'll persevere through this and spring will be here before we know it,” said Jay Cline, owner of The Palate.

The Tulsa Area Chamber of Commerce says it may be spring before we know the full economic effect of the ice storm. But, there's no doubt it will be costly to businesses and to the city. The City of Tulsa gets the bulk of its revenues from utilities and sales tax.

"I can tell you that last winter's ice storm, which was not nearly what we've experienced the last nine, cost the city $2.5 million. We expect, and the state predicts. the cost will be three times that," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

Large shopping malls and any stores that had electricity, or generator power seemed to fare well during the emergency. Many of their sales are way up because they were the only places open and crowds were much larger because many people were looking for a warm place to visit.

Watch the video: Ice Taking A Toll On Some Businesses