Blame Hurricane Harvey for higher gas prices

Sep 7, 2017

New York gas prices have risen 27 cents a gallon in just the past week and there is no real relief in sight, especially with Hurricane Irma making landfall.

That is the word from the AAA, which reports the national average for a gallon of gas is $2.66.

Credit WXXI's Alex Crighton

"The New York State average is up to $2.82 a gallon," said Lindsay Hawkins, communications specialist for the AAA of Western and Central New York. "Last week it was only at $2.45, so that's a 27-cent increase in just a week."

In Buffalo, the AAA said the average price a gallon is $2.73, up 26 cents from a week ago. Hurricane Harvey is to blame.

"It shuttered about 27 percent of the United States processing capacity," she said. "So more than a quarter of our refining capacity was shut down by Hurricane Harvey."

Hawkins said refineries are in the process of restarting and about 10 percent of the Gulf Coast refining capabilities are back on line. However, there is uncertainty with Irma headed toward Florida.

"Right now it's all eyes on Irma to see where gas prices are going to go," said Hawkins. "So we're hoping by mid-next week, we're hoping for some stabilization."

The AAA also offered travel advice:

  • Monitor weather conditions on a regular basis, as conditions can change quickly.
  • Heed all evacuation advisories and/or orders.
  • Check your airline flight status before leaving for the airport.
  • Check with your hotel for local updates on the storm’s impact.
  • Many airlines, hotel and travel providers have already implemented change and cancellation policies specific to Hurricane Irma.
  • Some cruise lines have started to notify AAA about cancellations or port of call adjustments. Cruise lines have the ability to monitor storms and cruise around them.