Sept. 14–Hurricane Florence is pounding the Carolina coast, dumping torrential rains and forcing millions to evacuate from their homes.
There are also questions on what Florence’s impact will be for people outside the storm zone — particularly when it comes to gasoline prices.
There’s positive news on that front, according to Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.
“The good news for motorists is that this is not an event that will result in widespread gas price spikes. Refiners are unhindered and out of the way of the storm, so gasoline keeps flowing.” DeHaan said. “Gas prices are still likely to fluctuate in the days and weeks ahead, but it will likely be due to other factors, such as the price of oil rising or falling. There may be minor price movements, mainly in the hardest hit areas as a result, but only in a worst case scenario. Gas prices will eventually fall due to lower autumn demand and a switch to cheaper winter gasoline that takes place this weekend. This event is very unlikely to drive broad large price increases.”
The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. is currently $2.856 a gallon.
DeHaan also said while transporting fuel may be an issue after the storm, supplies should remain strong.
“Gasoline availability has been a headache, but the good news is that supply has remained healthy. Stations aren’t able to refill their storage tanks as quickly as motorists are filling up due to the influx of demand,” he said. “Supply continues to flow out of refineries at normal levels, so the outages at stations are more of a headache than a panic — there’s many stations that still have fuel as refiners and gasoline production have continued countrywide.”
No fuel refineries have been shut down as a result of Florence.
Isolated fuel outages have been reported, however. On Tuesday, about 8 percent of the station in Wilmington, South Carolina reported being out of gas, compared to 4 percent in Raleigh-Durham and 4 percent in Greenville, according to USA Today.
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