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Pinellas County says Tropical Storm Debby caused up to $20 million in damage

9:06 AM, Jul 12, 2012   |    comments
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CLEARWATER, Florida (AP) - Officials say Tropical Storm Debby caused as much as $20 million in damage to beaches in one Tampa Bay-area county.

Photo Gallery: Viewer Pics: Tropical Storm Debby

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.

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