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“At best, Alabama will get a short-term boost. In most cases, natural disasters have a negative impact on an area’s economy. Local firms are more likely to increase hours of existing workers than do a lot of hiring, though they may recall or hire some laid off workers. But other projects that were under way or in the planning stages may be deferred or cancelled.” — Ken Simonson, chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America, speaking in Birmingham, Alabama on May 9, as quoted in the Birmingham News.