AAA: Gas prices spike as refineries remain shut

Gas prices see record rise in Carolinas after Hurricane Harvey

Harvey continues to impact gas prices in the Carolinas

In Allen County, gas prices were 38 cents higher than last month's average of $2.13, and were up 45 cents from last year's average of $2.06.

The price of gas in MA is five cents above the current national average of $2.65 per gallon, while Rhode Island's is four cents below the national average.

The average state gas price for unleaded regular was 36 cents on Tuesday, from a low of $2.53 per gallon to a high of $2.89.

Average retail gas prices in the region rose about 24 cents per gallon in the past week, to an average of $2.88 on Monday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 731 Pittsburgh-area gas outlets. The state average for diesel fuel was up just 7 cents at $2.58.

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The latest AAA survey lists a range of prices for unleaded regular in MA at 36 cents, with a low of $2.53 to a high of $2.89.

Stations that had gas at $2.19 per gallon along the Northwest Seventh Avenue corridor on August 28 sold it at $2.59 or $.2.69 by Saturday morning - if they had it.

DeHaan predicted that it could be "weeks or longer before all refineries are back online".

While people traditionally expect to see a hike in prices and lines during holiday weekends, that is not the case, DeHaan said.

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Additionally, refinery employees are returning to work as power is restored through areas affected by the hurricane, at which point prices should begin to drop, AAA has said. And from there, less gas is available to send to Chicago, New York, and other parts of the country, resulting in higher prices overall. However, a state of emergency, like the one issued in Florida, prevents retailers from grossly raising prices beyond anything they've charged in the past 30 days.

"Gas in the summer has 9.0 pounds and in winter it can get as high as 15", DeHaan said.

Harvey ravaged Texas, and Hurricane Irma is regarded as a "potentially catastrophic" Category 5 storm barreling down on the Caribbean and Florida. "U we also are keeping an eye on Irma, the next storm as its moving its way across the Atlantic". "The situation promises to be challenging if Irma threatens the US mainland", DeHaan added.

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