• 82°

Hurricane affects gas prices

Labor Day signals the end of the summer travel season and a decline in the price of gasoline usually follows.

AAA Alabama Spokesperson Clay Ingram said the decline in prices is usually due to a decline in demand, but this year is a little different.

“After Labor Day, things usually start to calm down from a travel standpoint,” Ingram said. “Family vacations are over, the kids are back in school and there’s a lot less travel. So, gas prices start to taper off.”

However, that hasn’t followed suit this year. A week ago, Ingram said the state average for a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.82 per gallon. This week, the price was up to $2.83 per gallon. Ingram said that was largely due to fallout from Hurricane Ida.

“There was a lot of destruction from Hurricane Ida, so I don’t mean to make lite of it, but from a gasoline standpoint, we really dodged a bullet,” Ingram said. “Before Ida made landfall, we thought there might be a possibility of a 5-cent to 10-cent increase in the price of gasoline. The refineries did suffer some damage, but the pipeline remained intact. So, we didn’t see that 5-10-cent bump in price.”

Ingram said the slight increase in price was due to some refineries having to temporarily shut down to make repairs. He said as the refineries come back online, the price will gradually taper off.

“The gas prices may taper off a lot more slowly this year, primarily due to storm damage,” he said. “It may take a little longer for all of that to work out, but the effect it will have on the price will be so minor you won’t be able to tell it. We should see prices fall, but they’ll fall more slowly over the coming weeks.”