Hurricane Harvey impacts gas prices

Gas prices increase due to Hurricane Harvey

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Gas stations around New Orleans have were packed all day Friday.

Most of the people we talked to say they want to have a full tank of gas just in case they need to leave town. And they've heard the gas prices will be rising.

"The whole weekend, everytime it gets a little bit low, I'm putting more gas in," says John Williams.

Gas stations around New Orleans are busier than usual.

A lot of people say they're filling up with one thing on their mind…Hurricane Harvey.

Some say they would rather have full tank in case they have to get out of harm's way.

"I'm hoping that it don't flood," says Williams. "That's the reason why I'm filling up."

"Just thinking about my house sitter. What if we get a lot of rain? What if we had to evacuate," says Jerry Fredieu.

Others are worried about a rise in gas prices.

"Gas prices might go up, so I'm trying to think ahead," says Jackie Yancy. "The refineries in the Houston area that it could be a real problem."

Hurricane Harvey is expected to hit the refinery rich area of the Gulf Coast.

President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, Don Briggs, says if those refineries are shut down because of flooding or power outages, the effects will likely be felt at the pump.

"Your major refineries for oil are in Texas and Louisiana. And consequently, that's where all of our gasoline comes from for most of the U.S." Briggs.

It's still too early to tell just how much it could rise because he says it depends on how long they're shut down.

Oil rigs on the Gulf are also being evacuated but Briggs doesn't believe that will have a big impact.

"That's to be expected and we have plenty of oil and we have plenty of storage. So, we're in good shape there."

Back I 2005 Hurricane Katrina caused a 40-cent increase overnight. But Briggs doesn't expect the same from Harvey.

"Back then, it was a different market and we weren't getting all the oil that we have today and we didn't have here in the United States the production that we have today. Today, we are producing nearly 10 million barrels of oil a day. Back in 2005 we may have been producing five million."

With the uncertainty of exactly what will unfold with Harvey over the next few days, people aren't wasting any time.

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