TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - As Tropical Storm Gordon bears down on the northern Gulf Coast, Triple A is warning drivers that gas prices may jump quickly if refineries are damaged or forced to go offline.
The storm is expected to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall somewhere between Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans late Tuesday.
Last year, when Hurricane Harvey caused refinery outages as it made landfall in Texas, gas prices spiked nearly 50 cents in just two weeks due to the decrease in production.
Triple A’s W. D. Williams says prices could become volatile, since the Gulf of Mexico is home to nearly half of America’s entire gas refining capacity.
“Anytime there’s a projected storm that is going to be in that part of the Gulf Coast, we always have the potential to shut down the oil production, either through the rigs or refineries being closed,” said Williams.
Even without the potential impacts from Gordon, fuel prices are already the most expensive in four years, up 17 cents from one year ago.
Gas in Florida currently average two dollars and 80 cents per gallons.