Hurricane Ike packs a punch at the pumps

Posted: Updated:
Clean-up begins after Hurricane Ike
azfamily.com

Although Hurricane Ike may not have sent bad weather patterns Arizona's way, officials are saying that Ike could have a negative impact on the local economy. Gas prices could jump quickly if Hurricane Ike hits any of Texas' 26 oil refineries, which produce about 5 million barrels of crude oil a day.

Closed or damaged refineries mean Arizonans will be paying more at the pump. The more severe the damage, the longer the prices will stay up.

Rising gas prices are the ripple effect of a storm that has grown to nearly 900 miles wide, which is almost twice the size of the city of Phoenix. State and city officials are warning that anyone still in Texas better stay put. Making the trip now is too dangerous. Major airlines have cancelled flights in and out of cities in southeastern Texas.