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What is the local economic impact of Harvey?

Hurricane Harvey has left tens of billions of dollars in damage. But how does that steep price tag affect us locally?

Hurricane Harvey has left tens of billions of dollars in damage.

But how does that steep price tag affect us locally?

Gas prices are already seeing an up-tick, but could the economic impact go beyond that?

The answer to that is yes.

With a natural disaster of this magnitude, the trickle-down effect it has leaves quite a broad reach. Joseph Zoric, an economics professor at Franciscan University, took time Wednesday to break down the financial impact residents locally may see.

A major oil and gas refinery shutting down caused gas prices to spike.

And Zoric says food, and any other transported goods will see a spike as well.

"Food has to be transported, and the extra cost of transporting the higher cost of gasoline causes those prices to rise," Zoric said.

Thankfully, he says those prices won't stay up for long.

"Six months from now, a year from now, they'll be gone," he said.

Zoric also believes Houston, and those dealing with the worst of the storm, will also see a quick recovery.

"The united states is a very rich country, and resources can be allocated very efficiently in the United States, and consequently, we will be surprised how quickly they recover from this disaster," he said.

But will all that allocating of funds affect us at a national level?

Zoric says the government will make due.

"The federal government spends what it wants to spend, and if it wants to spend more, it just borrows what it needs,” Zoric said. “They're not going to reduce spending other places because they're spending more in disaster relief."

But what impact will that leave on the already steep national debt?

“A few billion dollars is not going to make a big difference in the national debt, which is in the trillions,” Zoric said.

While a hike in price of food or gas may be inconvenient, Zoric says it's what's necessary.

“Simply allow the prices to go up,” he said. “The evidence is clear that in areas where they allow prices to go up during disasters, they recover much faster than when they try to control the prices.”

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