Flooding from Hurricane Harvey has had a devastating impact on residents along the Texas Gulf Coast. It's also had an economic impact, shutting down some oil refineries and interrupting transportation. And that means higher gas prices here in North Carolina.
Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy.com says North Carolina shouldn't see a fuel shortage but the cost of gasoline in the state started climbing last week.
“Prices a week ago were about $2.19. This morning, the average price in the state is $2.24, so we're talking about about a five to six cent increase,” DeHaan said.
Prices will probably continue to increase over the next few days and they could remain high for another month or so, according to DeHaan.
“Over the coming days and weeks, we will learn more about the amount of damage at those refineries, and that will have a significant impact on how long this could last,” DeHaan said. “At this point, I don't see gas prices rising at more than, say, 20 or 25 cents a gallon.”
DeHaan also said the Colonial Pipeline is still bringing fuel to the Southeast.
“I don't expect a whole lot of fuel availability issues across North Carolina, but we will likely see prices rise,” he said.