Gas prices hit three-year high after hurricanes, AAA says

Holly Viers • Sep 18, 2017 at 6:30 PM

NASHVILLE — Though they are now beginning to fall, gas prices hit a three-year high last week in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

On Sept. 10, the average price for a gallon of gas in Tennessee was $2.60, the highest it had been since November 2014, according to AAA.

“Hurricanes Harvey and Irma delivered a 1-2 punch on gas prices in the southeastern U.S.,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in a press release. “Prices surged when Hurricane Harvey caused refinery outages along the Gulf Coast. As refineries recovered, gas prices should have begun to decline after Labor Day, but the arrival of Hurricane Irma caused a surge in demand, preventing the impending plunge.”

AAA reports that gasoline availability continues to improve after Hurricane Irma drove up demand. A steady stream of ships is delivering gasoline to Florida’s ports, which is helping to normalize supply levels in the southeastern U.S.

“Gas prices are poised to plummet 30 cents," Jenkins said in a press release. “It will not happen overnight, as pump prices decline much slower than they rise. Plus, the threat of any new storms making landfall in the United States would compromise the collapse. However, motorists should see gas prices decline through the end of the month, and possibly reach the lowest point of the year in Q4.”

According to AAA, southeastern states have seen the highest monthly gas price increases in the country. First on the list is Georgia with an increase of 50 cents, followed by Florida (46 cents), South Carolina (45 cents), Tennessee (42 cents) and Alabama (41 cents).

On Sunday, Tennessee gas prices averaged $2.57, 3 cents less than a week ago but 51 cents more than this time last year, according to AAA.

The most expensive gas price averages in Tennessee are in Nashville ($2.63), Clarksville-Hopkinsville ($2.58) and the Tri-Cities ($2.58). The least expensive averages are in Memphis ($2.47), Chattanooga ($2.56) and Knoxville ($2.56).

Nationally, gas prices averaged $2.63 on Sunday according to AAA, 1 cent less than last week and 44 cents more than last year.

To view daily gas price averages, visit www.GasPrices.AAA.com.

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