Several gas stations on the East Coast are running out of fuel, and thousands of people are stranded in airports because of Hurricane Sandy. But how are those impacts trickling down to Central Oregon?
There is some good news for us here on the High Desert. The people NewsChannel 21 talked with Tuesday say Sandy won't affect your wallet, or even the prices at the gas station. But the one thing it could affect: your travel plans.
For the first time since 1888, the New York Stock Exchange has been closed for two consecutive days (but plans to reopen Wednesday).
"We could be trading right now electronically, which would not have involved anybody coming into the floor itself," said Bill Valentine of Valentine Ventures in Bend.
Valentine said the tradition of people buying, selling and trading on the floor is sacred.
The stock exchange closed for one day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and that disrupted the market for a few days.
But within a month, the stock market had recovered.
This event won't do much, most agree.
"I would expect that this would be a smaller scale of that," Valentine said. "We will have a slight sell-off tomorrow and it may last the whole day, it may not."
Valentine said few here will even notice.
"I don't believe that there will be much of an economic affect locally," Valentine said. "Unless you have direct commercial relationships with the East Coast or are traveling there."
But Sandy has had a dramatic impact on travel, thousands of flights are still cancelled.
"It could take a few days even if not a couple of weeks before all of these folks are able to work their way through the system," said Marie Dodds, AAA Oregon-Idaho spokeswoman.
Dodds says if you have travel plans in the next couple of days or even in the next week, be sure to check with your airline.
You may have to make alternate plans and be flexible.
"When you have thousands of people stuck at airports like we are seeing right now, it could be a while before you are able to get on that flight," Dodds said.
Dodds said unlike Hurricane Issac and other hurricanes, Sandy is impacting an area that is a major consumer of gas, not a major producer.
"The demand destruction caused by the storm is likely more than offset the drop in production," Dodds said.
That means you shouldn't see prices increase at the gas pump here.
It might be hard to believe, but Valentine said the storm could have some positive economic benefits along the East Coast. Rebuilding will require thousands of workers, and businesses like Home Depot and other supply companies could see a big spike in business.
He also said city and county governments on the East Coast are sure to get federal financial help.