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Gas price hike highest since Katrina in '05, GasBuddy says

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, 5:36 a.m.
Cars drive past the Sunoco station along Freeport Road in Harrison as gas prices in the Alle-Kiski Valley continue to rise. Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Cars drive past the Sunoco station along Freeport Road in Harrison as gas prices in the Alle-Kiski Valley continue to rise. Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017.

Gas prices will continue to be higher in the Alle-Kiski Valley until Texas recovers from Hurricane Harvey, says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

Average retail gas prices in the region rose about 24 cents per gallon in the past week, to an average of $2.88 on Monday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 731 Pittsburgh-area gas outlets.

The Pittsburgh average was about 24 cents per gallon higher than the $2.64 national average. Some of that can be attributed to Pennsylvania's gasoline tax, which is among the highest in the nation.

Prices in Pittsburgh are about 49 cents higher than a year ago and about 27 cents higher than a month ago.

Because Harvey shut down a lot of refining capacity, the national average gasoline price saw its largest weekly jump since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, when the national average increased 49 cents in a week, DeHaan said.

Average gas prices increased in every state, he said.

“Until Texas can recover from Harvey, gasoline prices will likely continue to remain elevated,” DeHaan said. “The situation is beginning to look up, with many refineries either back online or in the process, and gasoline production is ramping back up.”

Attention will now turn to Hurricane Irma as it approaches Florida and the East Coast.

“With the Colonial Pipeline having shut down last week due to a lack of products, Florida and the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic may be a touch-and-go area for gasoline,” DeHaan said. “Products are flowing to the region, but we'll have to keep a close eye on the storm, as Irma's path continues to be updated.”

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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