Miami-Dade County

Rising waters in Houston mean rising gas prices everywhere

Monday morning, just west of Interstate 95 on Northwest 95th Street. You won’t see these prices much longer.
Monday morning, just west of Interstate 95 on Northwest 95th Street. You won’t see these prices much longer.

Harvey is drowning Houston. But, it’s the rest of the nation, especially Florida, that should have filled gas tanks before the storm.

And, now, as soon as possible after the storm.

Last week’s 6-cent Florida-wide jump in single gallon of regular average price could be the low hurdle to the coming gas price high jump amid the misery of Harvey. Sunday, as the Houston Chronicle reported, ExxonMobil shut down its Baytown refinery, the second largest refinery in the nation.

“Hurricane Harvey hit a major supply line for gasoline in Florida and along the eastern seaboard,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “Multiple refineries and drilling rigs had to be evacuated ahead of the storm, and the Houston Ship Channel was closed. There remains a lot of uncertainty in the market. Uncertainty of the extent of the damages, and how long before operations are fully restored. Motorists should expect higher prices this week. It's still early know how much prices will rise, but a minimum of 10-30 cents would not be a surprise.”

GasBuddy, a monitoring service that put Miami’s average price at $2.32 late Sunday night and at $2.34 by 9:30 a.m. Monday, concurred.

“Gas prices are up in many places and motorists should be gearing up for more in the coming weeks, thanks to Hurricane Harvey inundating significant refineries along the Texas coastline, leading to closures and tilting the delicate balance of supply and demand,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

Tropical Storm Harvey flooded Aransas Pass, Texas, and left destruction in its wake, as seen in this August 27 drone footage released by the city’s police department. Electricity would still be down for an estimated three to four weeks, according

“Prices will likely rise nearly country wide heading into Labor Day, from rural towns in the Rockies to major cities in the Midwest and West Coast- nearly everyone will feel a bit of a pinch at the pump from Harvey,” he said. “The impact could linger for several weeks or longer, depending on how long it takes Texas refiners to return to normal operations. In addition, the situation could worsen should more shutdowns or outages happen in the coming week as Harvey continues to drop feet of rain on already flooded Texas.”

Cheapest gas in the Miami area without joining a club?

The usual Northwest Seventh Avenue corridor — $2.15 at the Exxon and the Shell at the corner of Northwest Seventh Avenue and 54th Street. You can pump for $2.17 at Caraf Oil at Northwest 62nd Street and 32nd Avenue. Up between Northwest 95th and 103rd streets, the stations are at $2.19 (unless you’re on the west side of Interstate 95, where Miami Shores residents fill up before hitting the highway — $2.29 at the Shell and $2.25 at the Chevron).

In Broward, you can get $2.23 per gallon at the Chevron at 1401 Commercial Blvd., the U-Gas at 1201 Commercial Blvd and the Marathon at 1490 W. State Road 84.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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