Monetary figures like these don’t reflect the whole picture. Devastation on this scale also means cherished homes and neighborhoods destroyed, lifelong possessions gone, and lives thrown into upheaval. Can we put a price tag on this?
Locally, more than $5 million has been spent renourishing Plum Island and Salisbury beaches within the past couple of years. Another $3.5 million is being spent now on restoring deteriorating sections of the South Jetty, which is expected to help mitigate erosion on Plum Island. Local governments have had to pay a small share toward these projects, and they have done so willingly. The state and federal governments have paid the bulk of it.
These are investments in homes, neighborhoods, publicly owned infrastructure, and yes, tax-generating properties. They are wise investments, as the Long Beach disaster has clearly pointed out.