Officials: Don't panic, Hurricane Harvey sending gas prices up - FOX Carolina 21

Officials: Don't panic, Hurricane Harvey sending gas prices up

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(File/ FOX Carolina) (File/ FOX Carolina)

It's been busy at the pump as officials in the fuel industry are watching how Hurricane Harvey could impact gas prices throughout the Carolinas.  

"I just wanted to fill up in case it gets crazy," said Greenville Resident Clay Williams.

Gas stations are staying packed with crowds rushing to top off their tanks before the numbers go up again.  

"Honestly, I was expecting there to be lines," said Resident Barry Elliott.

As Elliott waits, he's avoiding the screen at the pump, afraid to see what his total might be.

"I'd say it went up about 15 cents just from yesterday,” Elliott said.

Many said they were expecting the high prices, but they said it was still a shock how quickly it added up. Some residents said they spent ten dollars more on this fill-up compared to this same time last week.

"We just need to do our day in and day out at the pump,” said a AAA spokesperson. “No panicking, no irregulars or trying to do different things when getting your gas.”

A spokesperson for AAA Carolinas said since several oil and gas refineries along the gulf coast have been shut down temporarily due to the storm. AAA said in the coming days, gas prices in South Carolina and North Carolina could increase by 5 to 25 cents per gallon.

"While gas prices have the potential to increase following the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, it's important we stress to motorists to avoid panicking at the pump," said AAA Carolinas spokesperson Tiffany Wright. "Don't overconsume or change spending habits at the gas station. These behaviors could lead to gas shortages across the Carolinas."

Mike Thornbrugh, a spokesperson for QuikTrip also stressed that drivers should not panic and said there is not a supply issue of gasoline at this time. He said the futures market is taking this into consideration.

Thornbrugh said since wholesale prices have gone up, retail prices for gasoline will also increase.

Experts stressed they don’t know how long this will last, with grim details coming in from the Gulf.

With the flooding, it's the pipelines big gas companies said they aren't sure about. It's that uncertainty that's driving up the market.

"Who knows how many are under water, who knows if there's been some wash outs and unfortunately they can't get in to check and see what type of damage there is."

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