US drivers preparing for summer's last holiday weekend were greeted with the largest one-day gasoline price jump in more than a decade on Thursday, all thanks to Hurricane Harvey. Operations for most airlines into Houston-area airports are still in flux and will be for a while. Before this week, the most South Mississippi drivers paid for a gallon of gas over the last two years was $2.17 in April.
As New Jersey residents hit the road for Labor Day weekend, drivers will notice a significant bump in gas prices when stopping to fill up.
Fuel is tight because most refineries along the coast have either been shut down or their output has reduced. The Colonial Pipeline that supplies gas to northeastern states is slowly returning to service following the hurricane.
While the uptick is expected to be short term, numerous Gulf of Mexico refinery and pipeline shutdowns, coupled with anticipated higher holiday demand, led to the increases, AAA spokeswoman Beth Mosher said. "Unless you have to get gas, don't get gas".
Officials say they don't expect the prices to stay this high for long but in the mean time they're encouraging drivers to hunt for the best deals.
According to AAA, with limited gas coming from the Colonial Pipeline, the region is getting gasoline from the east coast and northeast regions. Prices for refined products like gasoline have jumped.
Prices should continue to rise into next week, but are expected to level off and back down as refineries come back online and gasoline moves through the system, analysts said.
When reading news like this, it's natural to panic-but officials say panic is actually part of the problem.
Nationwide, gas prices jumped 7 cents to fill out the national average at $2.52 a gallon.
If Hurricane Irma makes it the path to the Texas coastline, it is undetermined if gas prices will rise again. Is it the effects of Hurricane Harvey?