Hurricane Sandy, one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in history, has been estimated to cause at least $20 billion in economic damages. It is the first time since 1888 that the stock market has been closed on back-to-back days because of weather. What’s worse is that manufacturing facilities have been shut down and in many cases abandoned as workers evacuate cities, likely not returning for days. Furthermore, many energy companies have shut down their facilities which could leave large areas without power for an extended period of time. We could also see fuel prices rise as many oil and gas refineries have taken a heavy toll on production.
On top of all this we should expect shipment delays because of flooded streets, fallen trees, and other scattered debris. Until things are cleared up, many areas will be inaccessible because trucks simply cannot reach them. Several major airports are also being shut down, suspending a large amount of air shipments. People should expect delays of several days as these companies struggle to overcome the effects of Hurricane Sandy.