RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Virginia officials committed to spending up to $60 million to set up state shelters and secure response teams ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Virginia escaped the worst of Florence’s wrath after the storm took a southward turn, devastating the Carolinas. Members of Democratic governor Ralph Northam’s administration are defending the costs, but some Republican lawmakers say the high price tag deserves further scrutiny.

The state had spent roughly $44 million of the $60 million authorized as of Thursday. More than $31 million of that went to set up three state shelters, which took in 52 people.

The second-biggest expense was an estimated $20 million to pay two Virginia-based urban search-and-rescue teams.

Officials say they will seek reimbursements from the federal government.

Alexa WESR