The Cost of Snow

Last week's blizzard may have cost Chicago $55-$300 million

Janne Kyttanen

If you thought 20.2 inches of snow was a big digit to digest, get a load of this. Last week's record blizzard may have cost Chicago businesses between $55 million and $60 million.

Businesses in the entire metro area got hit with an estimated $300 million loss, according to a local retail firm.

Those stats figure in retail losses from Wednesday's citywide snow day, the Sun-Times reports.

The numbers could be higher depending on how many businesses remained shut down Thursday.

Some hotels maintained sales thanks to an unexpected surge of reservations from people stuck downtown. But according to the Sun-Times report, hourly workers were hit hardest by the snow simply by losing one to three days of pay.

Blizzards are doing a number on airlines across the country, as well. The area's total snowfall for the year is 50.1 inches, the fourth winter in a row to top the 50-inch mark.

That translates into thousands of canceled flights and millions more dollars.

The municipal-level blizzard bill likely will prove hefty too. And cleanup isn't done yet.  

Full Coverage: Blizzard 2011
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