SCARSDALE, N.Y. – While the Gulf Coast prepares to clean up the mess from yet another massive storm, residents in Scarsdale may soon feel the effects of Hurricane Isaac, as gas prices are rising to record levels in its aftermath.
Just in time for the last heavy driving weekend of the summer, the Category 1 hurricane is having an impact on gas prices nationally. According to AAA New York spokesperson Robert Sinclair Jr., the average price of gas in the country has risen from $3.71 to $3.82 a gallon. In New York, the increase was less severe, rising four cents, but the average is $3.99 a gallon.
In Scarsdale, at the beginning of August, the cheapest gas was selling for $3.73 a gallon at Getty, with premium available for just under $4. According to GasBuddy.com, prices have risen substantially, and regular gas is now $4.25 a gallon.
While we haven’t seen the widespread devastation that Hurricane Katrina wrought on the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Isaac has still had widespread implications.
“We’re not feeling the effects of Isaac as much as other regions in the country. This hurricane is far weaker than Katrina was,” he said. “We haven’t heard word on actual damage to refineries or pipelines, but several companies suspended operations, and others don’t have electricity.”
Gas prices began rising before the hurricane hit, as companies sought shelter from the storm, and are expected to continue to increase. Prices typically peak in the middle of the summer, and begin to decrease around Labor Day, Sinclair said. With the latest increase, gas prices will be as high as they’ve been all year.
“We probably won’t see the hit we saw in 2005, when prices went up 44 cents a gallon in the week following Katrina,” he said. “Nationally we peaked in April at $3.84 a gallon, so we’ll beat that soon.”
“A lot of the major oil infrastructure is in the Gulf Coast,” Sinclair said. “They are a major source of distribution, and there are many pipelines that emanate and go to the rest of the country. With the storm reaching land, it is going to greatly affect the rest of the country.”