Hurricanes drive up Florida gas prices

FROM THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Gas prices in Florida have hit a three-year high after the combination of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

The cost of a gallon of gas has gone up 46 cents in Florida in the past month, averaging more than $2.70, according to the AAA Motor Club.

Cars line up for gasoline at a Marathon gas station in North Miami on Sept. 6 in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irma.
(DAVID SANTIAGO/MIAMI HERALD/TNS)

Supplies delayed
Hurricane Harvey slowed oil refining in Texas and began to increase the cost of gas. Then, Irma significantly increased demand in Florida as millions of people evacuated from the projected path of the storm.

AAA spokesman W.D. Williams said prices should begin to slowly drop again over the next few weeks.

“Barring any more disruptive hurricanes as we have had, we expect prices to continue to drop over the next days and weeks,” Williams said. “Actually, we foresee before we celebrate New Year’s Day this year, that we’ll see the lowest prices of 2017.”

Won’t decrease quickly
Williams said gas prices will not go down as quickly as they went up, but they are expected to drop about 30 cents a gallon in the coming weeks. Gas prices in Florida averaged $2.16 per gallon a year ago.

“You can blame it on just simple economics,” Williams said. “Hurricane Harvey put a little crimp in our supply, and then Hurricane Irma actually bumped up demand a little bit.”

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