Hurricane Harvey leads to increased gas prices

Harvey gas shortage

DeHaan estimated it could take weeks or longer before all refineries are back online.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said on Thursday her office had received 45 complaints of inflated prices at Chevron Corp branded gasoline stations in the southern part of the state, as shortages worsened ahead of Hurricane Irma's expected us landfall this weekend.

Nationally, the most recent average price is $2.67 a gallon, or 31 cents higher than a month ago, according to GasBuddy.

Overall, gas prices are pennies away from topping the highest price ($2.67, August 15-18, 2015) Americans have paid for a gallon of gas in more than two years. "Texans will continue to feel pain at the pump stemming from Harvey with gas prices potentially increasing an additional five to ten cents in the week ahead".

The popular gas-tracking service GasBuddy has turned on several features to help people find gas in advance of Hurricane Irma. "Every state has seen average gas prices rise, Texas saw shortages at hundreds of stations- its been one of the most challenging weeks faced in years", said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

Diesel prices were not affected almost as much, DeHaan said.

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John Pace, community outreach specialist for Papa John's in South Mississippi, said sharp increases in gas prices are anticipated occasionally so the company is able to minimize the impact for local drivers.

"That's a good sign that we can start seeing some relief at the pump", Montgomery said.

The Gas Buddy app shows gas stations in your area, the price of gas there and whether the station has any left.

"The other question out there is Hurricane Irma", D'Amelia said, referring to the Category 5 storm that on Tuesday seemed to be tracking toward the United States. One resident said that in the 25 years he's lived in the area, the overnight hours are always the best time to get gas.

"I think this is just the tip of the iceberg", he said.

AAA says oil refinery and pipeline shut downs are not a major concern, as there are no facilities in Irma's projected path.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Don't expect gasoline prices to drop back to pre-Hurricane Harvey levels until the end of the month.

"I hadn't really paid attention to the gas prices the last few days, so when I got to the store I thought, 'Gosh, that's outrageous, '" driver Tammy Smith said.

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