Economy

Harvey causes spike in NC gas prices ahead of Labor Day weekend

Harvey causes spike in NC gas prices ahead of Labor Day weekend

Drivers lined up at gas pumps in parts of Texas Thursday as more stations ran out of gas and prices rose steeply in response to Hurricane Harvey's impact on Gulf Coast refineries.

At least two major pipelines - one that ships gasoline across the southern United States and to NY, and another that flows north to Chicago - have been slowed or stopped because of flooding and damage. The company plans to resume normal operations as conditions improve.

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, Gas Buddy reported the average gas price in Greenville was $2.389 per gallon. "It's just been insane".

Vancouverites, he said, "were paying 30 cents a gallon above it; now you're in a situation where it's starting to come down to reflect the reality that the price was far too high".

One of the lowest priced stations Wednesday afternoon was Energy Fuels at 2753 E. 10th St., with its regular gas priced at $2.27 per gallon. Instead, gasoline deliveries are going to designated stores across all parts of the metro area, QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said.

Thornbrugh said he's optimistic the measures won't need to be in place for long.

Harvey made landfall along the Texas coast last Friday and lingered in the region for days, causing catastrophic flooding, killing at least 32 people and causing major disruption to the region's energy sector.

AAA officials note that price increases do not now reflect a shortage of gasoline supplies in the Gulf Coast region, but rather distribution capability.

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"I don't believe a week from now that this will be an issue", Sitton said.

The Texas attorney general's office said anyone seeing gas prices of $4 or higher should take pictures and report the stations as price-gouging.

The average price climbed to $2.37 a gallon in Dallas on Thursday, up from $2.32 Wednesday and from $2.16 a month ago. The app and website have the most accurate and real-time fuel prices at over 140,000 unique stations in the United States, Canada, and Australia and is the most comprehensive money-saving companion while on the road.

The gas price increase is a result of the near-term combinations of numerous refinery and pipeline shutdowns, tightened access to supply levels in the Gulf and anticipated high gasoline demand surrounding the Labor Day weekend.

His advice: "Try to have a sense of calm". Two Corpus Christi plants operated by Flint Hills that supply the Austin market were taken out of service because of Harvey, and it's unclear when they will be operating again.

Almost 30% of the nation's refining capacity along the Gulf Coast has been shut or reduced operations due to flood waters associated with the storm.

The Colonial Pipeline provides almost 40 percent of the South's gasoline.


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