Hurricane Harvey impacting local gas prices and causing shortages

AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF)–  AAA estimates 39 million people will travel this weekend, the most in more than a decade. Nearly 90% of those will drive to their destination. Once they hit the road.. they’ll notice higher gas prices. Between the service disruptions in the gulf due to the storm, and the busy travel weekend, you can expect the prices to rise even more.

“I’m currently scavenging for somewhere that has gas that isn’t premium,” Grace Beasley, a customer said.

In a matter of hours, gas prices rose nearly ten cents Thursday night, according to AAA.  The Colonial pipeline that provides nearly 40% of the South’s fuel plans to shut down due to Hurricane Harvey, causing fuel shortages for most Southern businesses.

“So I went to another gas station and went inside, and they were like “Oh, so we only have premium gas here.’ So, I had to leave, and I came here to get gas because I thought maybe.. they didn’t carry diesel there.. Do they only carry premium? Yeah, so here, they don’t have it either,” Beasley said.

She was heading out of town for Labor Day weekend, so she decided to pay the extra money and get on the road. But for others, the price hike matters.

“I was expecting to get some regular gas, but I’ve got to get some premium. 93’s are very expensive,” Emmanuel Bent, a customer said.

You can download an app on your smartphone called GasBuddy to find out which businesses near you have the most affordable fuel.

“The supply is having to come from different areas farther away.You know they are having to truck gas in from different areas from different regions, and that raises the price,” Tim Taylor, Manager of Smith’s Chevron said.

He said  the worst thing you can do is try to come buy gas when you don’t need it. He explained keep your normal buying habits– don’t come fill up every car you don’t drive.

“I would suspect that once they get the pipeline up and running again, as long as the consumers don’t create a panice buying situation, everything is going to be ok,” Taylor said.

He also expects gas prices to rise over the next week.

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