Here are some estimates for the storm's negative impact:
— As of Tuesday morning, about 8.1 million customers were without power in the affected areas, the U.S. Department of Energy said. That means millions of people couldn't get ready for work in the morning, or their place of employment was shut down.
— IHS said Sandy idled about 70 percent of the East Coast's oil refineries, and with supplies already tight before the storm, gasoline prices could go up. But oil futures were little changed Tuesday afternoon and gasoline futures sank on speculation that the storm will cut demand as drivers stayed home and businesses were closed, Bloomberg News reported.
But a megastorm can also have positive impacts as rebuilding begins. Here are some potential upsides:
— Roughly $10 billion in public infrastructure was damaged, the IHS economists estimated. That means state and local governments will have to hire more workers — or give them longer hours — to repair the roads, bridges, beaches and airports that were damaged.
— And widespread power outages mean that grocery stores will see a short-term benefit once residents restock their refrigerators after throwing out spoiled food. And that's on top of the supplies people bought to get ready before the storm hit.