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Pinellas Says Debby Caused Up To $20M In Damage

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File photo. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Officials say Tropical Storm Debby caused as much as $20 million in damage to beaches in one Tampa Bay-area county.

Pinellas County officials said Wednesday that sand stripped from beaches by last month’s storm ended up in piles not far offshore. Replacing the eroded sand could cost $15 million to $20 million.

The beaches needing replenishment include Sand Key, Treasure Island, Long Key, Fort De Soto Park and Mullet Key.

Officials said it was not clear whether the state and federal governments would chip in to replace the sand.

The beaches are crucial to the county’s tourism industry, which drew $3.4 million in visitor spending last year.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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