Utah economy

Droughts among the most financially crushing weather-related disasters

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS (ABC4) – Droughts are among the most financially crushing weather-related disasters, affecting the U.S. economy by nearly $9 billion a year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In Utah, where 93% of the state is in severe drought, there has been no significant increase in its snowfall for about five weeks, according to Candice Hasenyager, director of the water resources division. from Utah.

“We’re about nine inches of water equivalent snow. So that’s about a little over two-thirds of what we normally see this time around,” Hasenyager said. But that does not prevent skiers from hurtling down the slopes.

“We really haven’t been affected by the lack of snow for the past few weeks,” said Jared Winkler, Brighton’s director of communications and marketing. Luke Larsen, co-owner of Lifthouse, a ski shop in Cottonwood Heights, also said business was good.

“Fortunately, we’ve always been very busy and remarkably most people who come in are very happy,” Larsen said.

Although the immediate impacts of the drought are not visible in the number of visits, the decrease in the snowpack can have disastrous consequences.

“Drought impacts tourism and recreation, it also impacts cities and people,” Hasenyager said. “So it has broad impacts and can affect the economy as well.”

In the long term, this is a problem of great concern in the ski industry.

“If there is a lot of snow, skiers go skiing. If we start losing snow, no matter how healthy the economy is, how much money people have, eventually people will lose interest in skiing if there is no snow,” said Feedback.

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Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion