Pipeline servicing Atlanta shuts down; Middle Georgia gas prices rise
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Gas prices along the East Coast are going up after Hurricane Harvey shut down a major U.S. pipeline Thursday.
“We’ve seen the Georgia gas price average go up 16 cents since Friday and actually seven cents just overnight,” AAA spokesperson, Joshua Carrasco said. “We expect the prices to rise in the short-term.”
The flood waters from the hurricane have left oil refineries along the Gulf Coast unable to operate at full capacity. To make matters worse, the Colonial Pipeline, the United States’ largest transporter of gasoline is temporarily shutting down. Last year, the same pipeline caused a gasoline shortage in Georgia when a leak started.
“I left Atlanta this morning and most of what I saw was close to $2.59 a gallon, it’s probably up 40 to 50 cents in the last two or three days,” Lance Mayer, a customer at a Macon gas station said.
Carrasco telling the public, Thursday is the cheapest day to fill up.
“There’s nothing you can do about it, you’ve got to have gas so you just have to take it in stride,” Teresa Shinholster, another customer at a Macon gas station said.
As of Thursday, the average price of a gallon of regular gas was $2.25, according to AAA. That’s up from $2.12 a week ago. The national average Thursday was $2.45. Carrasco says the price is only going to go up.
“At least on the national stage to go up another five to 10 cents,” Carrasco said. “I would put Georgia at the high end just because we’re looking at a tightening of supplies coming in off of the Colonial Pipeline.”
Drivers shouldn’t panic though, according to AAA there likely won’t be a shortage of gasoline and it’s a matter of time for prices to go back down.
“What we’re looking at is for the storm to pass to see what type of damage has been done to the refineries in the Gulf Coast region,” Carrasco said.
So fill up while you can, but expect to pay at least an extra dime for a gallon.
“The main part is the people in Houston, we’ve had relatively good gas prices the last two or three years so my thoughts are with them we can afford a little bit of high gas,” Mayer said. “It’ll all work itself out.”