DETROIT (WWJ) – With Hurricane Sandy headed for the East Coast, there are a number of uncertainties in regards to the storm’s impact at the pump … both out east and here at home.

Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan with said Michigan is sourced from a number of different areas like Detroit, Toledo, and Chicago, so Michigan may not feel the pinch at the pump like other areas in the county.

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“The biggest story is how long these refineries remain off-line,” DeHaan said. “That could have a longer term impact on prices in the Northeast. But here in the Great Lakes, if gas prices go up it’s not really going to have much to do with Hurricane Sandy at all.”

“The Northeast isn’t really a significant refining hub … a few of them are closing but by no means are all of them closing,” said DeHaan. “The other news, to mitigate the drop in supply from those refineries shutting down, it’s going to be a massive drop in demand, what we call demand destruction.”

As for gas prices here in the Metro Detroit area, DeHaan says there should be no impact from the hurricane conditions out east given the state is supplied by refinery operations well out of the reach of “Sandy”.

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DeHaan says if all goes relatively well over the next 24-to-48 hours, any disruptions in gasoline supply along the Atlantic seaboard may actually be offset by the area-wide shutdowns of business leading up to the storm curtailing demand for fuel.

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