Harvey continues to impact gas prices in the Carolinas

GasBuddy No shortage of gasoline due to Hurricane Harvey

GasBuddy said the national average price of gas spiked almost 24 cents over the past week to $2.64 a gallon.

Whatcom County gas prices are expected to start heading down in the coming weeks after a spike sent the average price to more than $3 a gallon.

The national average has increased 29.8 cents per gallon during the last month and is 44.5 cents higher than this day a year ago.

Motorists generally see an increase in gas prices over Labor Day weekend as more families hit the road for one last trip, but auto experts say this week's jump is a result of refinery closures stemming from Hurricane Harvey.

A survey of prices in Rhode Island on Tuesday found self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.69 per gallon, 35 cents more than last week and the highest price recorded locally in two years, according to AAA Northeast.

The current national average for price for gas is $2.37, which is "one of the largest one-week national gas prices surge seen this summer", said the AAA press release.

Still, Hurricane Irma could lead to fuel shortages and higher gas prices if it triggers widespread evacuations, experts said Tuesday.

The least expensive gas price averages in Georgia were in Augusta-Aiken at $2.54 per gallon, Macon at $2.56 and Columbus $2.58.

"While it may be weeks or longer before all refineries are back online, the situation is beginning to look up", he said.

Harvey caused one-quarter of oil refineries in the Gulf Coast to be taken offline, sending gas prices soaring. It has risen 15.4 cents over the past 11 days, including 3.1 cents on Sunday.

On Tuesday, Patrick DeHaan, an analyst for GasBuddy.com, wrote in a blog post that the biggest increases from Harvey are behind us, with a peak likely to be to occur sometime this week. "Irma's path could change, but looking at forecasts it's going to go through Florida, which isn't the home of any energy infrastructure", said DeHaan.

"Much remains in the air", DeHaan said, "but the situation promises to be challenging if Irma threatens the USA mainland".

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