After wreaking havoc in the southern United States, the effects of Hurricane Harvey will continue to linger for quite a while. Gas prices remained fairly stable in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, though prices rose in North Carolina and Washington, D.C., and decreased in DE and West Virginia.
On average across the country, gas now costs $2.25 per gallon, according to AAA. "Obviously we're going to see a shortage of gasoline and because of that it's going to impact prices".
Those prices are expected to go back down once Hurricane Harvey subsides. Additionally, the Texas Gulf Coast accounts for a third of the country's oil refining capacity.
The average cost of a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the Richmond region August 27 was $2.12, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic - a penny lower than the previous week but three cents lower than the state average and 24 cents lower than the national average.
Some pumps that were dispensing gasoline at $2.29 per gallon earlier this week have increased to as much as $2.44.
Typically, gas prices begin to fall on the run up to Labor Day.
Gas prices jumped throughout the nation and in Wyandotte County following Hurricane Harvey's damage to oil refining in Texas.
"California is always susceptible to price spikes, but when it happens it's normally because of an issue with refineries in our own state", Blasky said.
Hurricane Harvey has shut down completely or partially at least 14 oil refineries and gas prices could rise as much as 20 cents nationally and as much as 35 cents in parts of Texas and Louisiana, according to the Washington Post Wednesday. The last time prices were that high for Labor Day was September 2015. How quickly the refineries reopen will depend on the severity of the flooding and the restoration of power to the areas. However, local demand has also decreased, which partially offsets the reduced supply.
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. Nearly 90 percent of them will travel by auto. But, Lipow says people shouldn't panic, he expects balance will return to gasoline markets.