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Some lawmakers question $60M in hurricane prep costs

September 21, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia officials committed to spending up to $60 million to set up state shelters and secure response teams ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Virginia escaped the worst of Florence’s wrath after the storm took a southward turn, devastating the Carolinas. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports members of Democratic governor Ralph Northam’s administration are defending the costs, but some Republican lawmakers say the high price tag deserves further scrutiny.

According to the newspaper, the state had spent roughly $44 million of the $60 million authorized as of Thursday. More than $31 million of that went to set up three state shelters, which took in 52 people.

The second-biggest expense was an estimated $20 million to pay two Virginia-based urban search-and-rescue teams.

Officials say they will seek reimbursements from the federal government.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com

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