Storm surge: AAA already seeing pump prices spike from Harvey

Thursday, 31 Aug, 2017

"I feel so sorry for the families who have been displaced by that hurricane in Texas", Palmer said.

In the Capital Region, the immediate affect on gas prices has been a little less than it has been nationally, since there is significant gas inventory in the Northeast.

In Greenville, prices are already topping $2.31 per gallon at several stations as of midday on Tuesday.

With supplies under pressure, gasoline futures are trading at more than two-year highs.

Harvey has wreaked havoc on USA energy infrastructure along the Texas Gulf Coast, which is home to about 30 refineries that produce gasoline, diesel and other fuels. Gas prices could increase from 5 to 25 cents per gallon or more overnight or in the next several days. Some of the cheapest gas in the area can be found at Costco Whole in Tampa, where prices are $2.17 per gallon, or the Sunoco on 49th Street South in St. Petersburg, where prices are $2.19 a gallon. "Typically prices tend to drop 20 cents or so in September, but with supply being down, it will most likely take a bit longer".

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Patrick DeHaan, is a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, a website that monitors retail gas price.

"No doubt, Harvey has impacted operations and access to refineries on the Gulf Coast", said Jeanette Casselano, a national AAA spokeswoman.

Locally, AAA Mid-Atlantic confirmed that Harvey's impact on gs prices was starting to become evident, and the auto club anticipated that a spike would stretch, at minimum, into the holiday weekend. "A lot of that is tied to Labor Day demand, but there could be some ripple effect from Harvey as well". Overall stocks in the Gulf are above average levels and will be available to drivers once power and refinery systems are restored and area roads are cleared. But, Lipow says people shouldn't panic, he expects balance will return to gasoline markets.

This morning, the West Texas Intermediate crude oil benchmark is trading near $46 per barrel, down four dollars from a month ago and about a dollar less than a year ago. "With most kids back in school, families often look for a quick getaway to camp, swim, hike, or ride ATVs".