Hurricane jacks up gas prices in Virginia

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The effects of Hurricane Harvey have trickled into Virginia.

Overnight gas prices across the Commonwealth jumped an average of 5 cents a gallon. Unfortunately, those prices are expected to continue to climb dramatically.

“I’m driving all around two hrs a day at least, so it definitely impacts me because I’m constantly getting gas, so I definitely notice when it goes up because it’s a lot more to fill up my tank for work,” explains Lynn-Ellin Zeigler.

At a BP service station on Midlothian Turnpike, the owner says the price per gallon changed three times on Thursday morning before noon.

Fuel prices usually go up a bit before a holiday weekend, but this big surge can be blamed in part on the storm that devastated Houston. Harvey shut down the pipeline that carries gasoline to Virginia.

Martha Meade with AAA explains why.

Martha Meade, AAA

“Most of our gasoline comes from the Colonial Pipeline,” she says, “So whenever there’s a shortage or even a nervousness about a shortage of supply, gas prices are going to go up.”

How high will prices fly?

AAA estimates an increase of as much as 25 cents per gallon over the next week or so.

“That’s crazy,” says Kyndal Dolan, “Especially someone who drives an SUV. You pretty much budget how much it’s going to be. I can’t believe that.”

There is a silver lining. Gas is already on its way from other parts of the country to ensure there’s enough for everyone who needs it.

Meade adds that the fuel supply across the country is very good. That should keep prices from skyrocketing out of control like they did following Hurricane Katrina when fuel went up 80 cents a gallon.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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