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Gas prices spike after hurricane

Gas prices spike after hurricane

Colonial Pipeline has shut down key fuel lines running from Houston through Mississippi, Georgia Alabama and up the East Coast after Hurricane Harvey forced the closure of refineries and other facilities.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, too, has issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency and has waived certain restrictions. allowing fuel vehicles to travel through the state for longer stretches of time.

The association survey says USA gasoline prices Thursday averaged $2.45 per gallon, which is 10 cents higher than a week ago and 5 cents more than on Wednesday.

Colonial is one part of the fuel delivery system, and there are multiple means of supplying the market to mitigate concerns with supply, including other pipelines, trucks, and barges. "We've seen it before", Cooper said.

The Colonial Pipeline provides almost 40 percent of the South's gasoline. When you have a situation like this the problems go all up and down the pipeline.

Motiva Enterprises' Port Arthur, Texas refinery, the nation's largest, may be shut as long as two weeks for assessment of the plant and fix of any damage, sources familiar with plant operations said on Thursday.

The firm noted, however, Colonial is only a part of the US fuel delivery system. The price spike is more dramatic in some states such as Georgia, where the average cost per gallon of regular gas has climbed from $2.22 a week ago to $2.39 now.

On Wednesday, Colonial said its two pipelines would be shut down because of the damage done by Hurricane Harvey and the massive flooding that followed in Houston and the surrounding area.

The supply crunch is already being felt in Dallas-Fort Worth, where QuikTrip, one of the nation's largest convenience store chains, is temporarily halting gasoline sales at about half of its 135 stores in the area. Some pumping points in those areas are affected by flooding, a spokesman said. "We will continue to serve you in the best manner we can, but rest assured, we will keep this communication line open and update you as much as possible until things are restored to normal operational status", according to the customer update.

So how high will prices at the pump rise?

The same pipeline was shutdown in September of a year ago due to a leak and gas spill in Alabama.

The Colonial Pipeline is like the I-95 of the nation's pipeline network, it's that vital.

There are two conduits now pumping intermittently, but carrying fuel only from Lake Charles, La., which means half of the refineries the lines usually connect to are cut off, the Alpharetta-based company said. It closed in September 2016 after a leak and gas spill in Alabama, leading to days of empty gas station pumps and higher prices in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

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