February 24, 2018

Harvey pushed up Carolinas gas prices. Will Irma do the same?

06 September 2017, 01:56 | Kara Nash

Gas prices see record rise in Carolinas after Hurricane Harvey

Gas prices 9-17

In West Virginia, the average price for regular unleaded rose from $2.38 last week to $2.71 this Monday, according to the latest Energy Information Administration report. But why is gas 37 cents a gallon more than last week in MA, where the only effect Harvey had was a few hours of heavy rain this past Sunday? The national average stands 44.5 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.

According to AAA's daily fuel tracker, gas prices were averaging $2.67 for a gallon of regular unleaded on Tuesday in the Bradenton-Sarasota area to rank among the most-expensive regions in the state. This week, the MA price is five cents higher than the national average of $2.65 per gallon.

To put the new local average price in context, it's the highest here since December 2014, according to GasBuddy.

States with the lowest average gasoline prices today: SC ($2.37), Louisiana ($2.38), Arkansas ($2.40), Missouri ($2.41), MS ($2.45), Arizona ($2.45), Kansas ($2.46), Alabama ($2.50), South Dakota ($2.50) and Minnesota ($2.50). "They will begin to churn out gasoline which then will be dumped into a tank for a day until filled, and then the oil will be pushed through the pipeline, slowly returning everything to normal", DeHaan said.

As refineries work this week to get back online, auto experts say gas prices may continue to rise slightly, about 5 to 10 cents more.

D'Amelia, speaking from Stewart's corporate offices in Saratoga Springs, acknowledged a 45-cent jump in price is dramatic.

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Because of the flood damage, eight oil refineries in Texas are shut down, the AAA said.

"All of this was due to Harvey", said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at

The havoc that Hurricane Harvey wreaked on the Gulf Coast last week is still being felt at the gas pump in MA.

The Colonial Pipeline that originates at the Gulf of Mexico carries gasoline to the Northeast, supplying Stewart's and other places that sell fuel, she explained. "They could even see an additional surge if Hurricane Irma hits Florida this weekend".

"AAA will continue to monitor Irma's path and the potential impact the hurricane could have on the Carolinas, as well as the refineries, pipelines and distribution", Wright said. "Much remains in the air, but the situation promises to be challenging if Irma threatens the US mainland".

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