South Florida Gas Prices Likely to Spike from Hurricane Harvey

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Texas Oil pumps

As a result of the impact from the massive storm known as Hurricane Harvey, gas prices around South Florida are expected to climb.

The Texas coastline and gulf are suffering a lashing from Hurricane Harvey. Once classified as intense as a category 4 hurricane, Harvey is currently swirling as a category 1 storm over southeast Texas.

Forecasters are predicting the extremely wet system could dump 30 inches of rain by Wednesday, with some areas seeing as many as 40 inches. Coastal flooding in places such as Matagorda Island and Port O’Connor, are likely experience storm surges of 6-12 feet.

By 3:30 a.m. today, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas reported that at least 211,000 residents along the Texas Gulf Coast are without electricity. Along with no refrigeration, that translates into no air-conditioning in the August heat.

Due to the destructive storm, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reports that 39 natural gas platforms were evacuated. About 10% of the nation’s oil production was suspended.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration places Florida among the five largest energy-consuming states. The majority of the state’s gasoline supply comes from Gulf Coast refineries and utilizes waterborne cargo transport and tanker trucks for distribution.

Experts report that Floridians as a whole could see a 5-to-15-cent price increase per gallon. But if Harvey causes damage to a refinery, a 25-cent jump would be expected. While the prices will most likely climb, it is not thought to cause issues as severe as consumers saw during Hurricane Katrina, when gas prices soared 40-cents per gallon overnight.

AAA had recently warned Floridians of a steady increase, which the state has seen at the August pumps. Prices throughout the state in the later half of August ranged from $2.47 to $2.13.

AAA and the Auto Club Group, said in a statement. “This storm could cause more refinery closures and prevent tankers from moving fuel in and out of Texas ports.”

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