Harvey to bring higher prices at gas pumps, hardware stores

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Economic experts say Hurricane Harvey could hit Hoosiers in their wallets.

The storm is expected to create an economic ripple effect across the country.

No one will feel the effect of Hurricane Harvey — financially or otherwise — more than the people in the storm’s path. But experts say people across the country will be paying more at the gas pump and the hardware store.

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One thousand miles from Houston, in the downtown Indianapolis Fusek’s True Value hardware store, general manager Michael Gunning is bracing for the storm’s aftermath.

“It’s so catastrophic and there’s going to be such an extreme demand for basic core products that are related to building that it’s going to affect everyone,” Gunning said.

Gunning said rebuilding efforts in Houston will create a shortage of dry wall, lumber and insulation in other parts of the country. He expects prices in Indiana to go up.

Michael Hicks is the director of Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research. He said Harvey will also cause a spike in fuel prices because south Texas is a hot spot for gas production.

“If you really need to fill up your tank, do it now,” Hicks said. “The interruption of fuel supply will cause a spike in petroleum prices over the next several weeks, maybe as much as 75 cents a gallon.”

Hicks’ advice? Don’t panic, preorder your construction materials, be cautious about how you use petroleum and donate whatever money you can to the people in the storm’s path.

Gunning said he’s keeping a close watch on the supply chain.

“It’s sad, but it’s one of those realities that when mother nature strikes and we have a catastrophic event like this, the ripple effect just kind of goes across the whole nation,” Gunning said

Hicks said some stores could run out of certain construction materials. He expects the prices to go back to normal in Indiana by the end of winter.