Gas prices rise due to Hurricane Harvey

(WTNH) — Gas prices across the country are up because of the catastrophic flooding along the Gulf Coast.

We haven’t felt any rain from Harvey yet, but the storm is already hitting Connecticut in the wallet. Gas prices have started to climb because a number of Texas oil refineries have been shut down by the storm.

Experts track price averages. Prices do fluctuate, and certain gas stations may charge more than others. That’s why experts say it’s important to pay attention to the prices at the pump.

Kendall Turner was getting gas at a Shell station in New Haven on Thursday evening. He knows he’s soon going to be paying more to fill up his tank, and he’s ready for it.

“I guess we really don’t have a choice,” he said. “We’ve got to go to work. You’ve got to get to places that you’ve got to be. We really don’t have a choice but to deal with it.”

Gerry Katz owns the gas station. He says his supplier has been shut down because of Harvey. That’s affected how much he has to pay for the gas and how much he’ll have to charge for it.

“If you look at my current price I’m breaking exactly even today,” he said.

Katz is expecting to have to raise prices by 25 cents on Friday. That’ll bring prices to $3 a gallon for regular.

“If it goes up more tomorrow, I might even have to raise my price more than $3 a gallon,” said Katz.

Katz gets a shipment of gas every other day so he’s already seeing the higher gas prices, which have jumped since the beginning of the week. They’ve gone up about 3 cents just since Wednesday. This is an average, since prices can vary from station to station. AAA expects the quickly rising gas prices will hit the brakes sometime in September.

“Prices on the national level are going to probably crest at $2.70,” said Fran Mayko, spokesperson for AAA Northeast. “Here in Connecticut things are always higher.”

In this case, experts expect prices to be 10 to 20 cents higher. But AAA says these higher prices are no reason to panic.

“They should be filling their tank on an as needed basis, not topping their tank off,” said Mayko.

Experts say Labor Day is another reason why prices are increasing.

The Secretary of Energy is releasing half a million barrels of oil from an emergency supply to keep gas prices from spiking.

The website GasBuddy tracks gas prices and can be used to compare prices in your area: https://www.gasbuddy.com/

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