Hurricane Sandy: Economy should bounce back analysts say
Though hurricane Sandy will impact dozens of industries and cause billions in damages, experts say the economy should recover quickly with reconstruction after the storm.
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Energy outages and disruptions in major East Coast cities "may take a toll on (power) demand unlike anything we have seen before," Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst for Price Futures Group, wrote in a report.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Sandy: Chronicle of an unrelenting storm
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Owners of the six biggest refineries in the Northeast shut down two and cut production at most of the others. That includes a full shutdown of the Phillips 66 refinery in Linden, N.J., the second-biggest in the Northeast at 285,000 barrels per day. The biggest refinery in the area, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, was nearly shut. Oil prices fell as it appeared the massive storm will reduce demand by keeping drivers off the road and shutting businesses.
Once the storm passes, gas station managers have to work to make sure they have enough gasoline to sell. Those that operate under a major brand such as Mobil, Shell or BP and have supply agreements may be able to get only a portion of their allotment. They have to compete with non-branded gas station operators for the rest — and pay whatever the going rate is.
"The challenge isn't when everyone is hunkered down and there are no cars on the road," says Jeff Lenard of the National Association of Convenience Stores. "The problem is how fast can you be replenished. You don't want to be the guy with the bagged pumps."
When disaster strikes, phone and Internet service often takes a hit, right when it's needed the most. Phone companies on the eastern seaboard were topping up fuel for backup generators and lining up disaster recovery trailers to move into flooded areas after the storm passes.
Verizon, the largest landline phone company on the East Coast, said the storm had not yet had any major effect, and its network was performing normally. Verizon said all its cell tower sites have at least eight hours of backup power.
At AT&T, employees were adding portable generators to cell towers and checking on fuel levels.
Even if cellphones work, wireless networks may be overloaded by people calling to check in on each other or surfing the Web. That's why cellphone companies recommend text messaging rather than calling in any disaster, because text messages use much less network capacity.
AP Business Writers Matthew Craft, Anne D'Innocenzio, Samantha Bomkamp and Joyce M Rosenberg in New York, Joshua Freed in Minneapolis and Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin in Detroit contributed to this report.