Under the Dome

McCrory says storm cleanup cost is unknown

Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday said the winter storm exceeded his expectations as it swept across North Carolina this week and the cleanup cost remains unknown.

“Our goal was to, as I said yesterday, be over-prepared, and we were hoping the storm would be underwhelming, but in certain parts of the state, it exceeded our expectations, not with snow, but with some of the ice, so it was quite unique in North Carolina,” McCrory said Thursday.

Tony Tata, secretary of the Department of Transportation, said the additional cost would come from paying for about 300 contract plows and trucks that helped with cleanup efforts across the state.

While the agency did not run out of sand, salt or brine during the process, Tata said replenishing those resources is now a priority in order to prepare for any storms that could come in the near future. “We won’t underestimate that,” he said.

Mike Holder, DOT’s chief engineer, said the department prioritized interstate highways in its cleanup efforts but is now focusing on secondary roads, which he expects will be cleared by Friday afternoon.

McCrory said he plans to do an assessment of the state’s response to the storm when all the cleanup work has been completed.

“Even though I’m very pleased with this team effort, and I give them very high marks, we will do an evaluation of what worked and what didn’t work like we do on all emergencies, and we will see where we have potential gaps, so next time this comes – because there will be a next time –we’re even better prepared,” he said.