Harvey to impact holiday weekend gas prices

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HARTFORD, Conn. — Storm Harvey may have been downgraded to a tropical depression but it’s still expected to have an impact on gas prices for the unofficial end to summer.

According to AAA, the average price of regular unleaded gas across the state has jumped 3 cents in the past week to $2.53 per gallon.

That price is expected to go higher over the Labor Day weekend and the trend may continue into September.

AAA said prices could reach the highest level of the year.

“When you see what’s going on in Houston, you can hardly refer to an increase in our gas prices as ‘pain’ at the pump,” said Amy Parmenter, AAA spokesperson. “That said, the timing of the increase is unfortunate for all those planning one final road trip this summer.”

Several refineries in Texas shut down in advance of the storm and other refineries, including some in the northeast, are shipping supplies to areas of the country where supplies are low. AAA said it’s causing a ripple effect that’s pushing prices up almost everywhere.

The national average has increased 10 cents in a week to $2.45 per gallon. That’s 23 cents higher than last year at this time.

“Just how high gas prices might go depends on how long the disruption lasts, but AAA analysts expect it to be short-term, days or weeks, not months,” Parmenter said.

AAA analysts believe it will be followed by a sharp drop off because of the switchover to the less expensive winter blend of gas and a drop in demand.

“Even with gas prices on the rise, drivers across Connecticut are still enjoying some of the lowest gas prices we’ve seen in years,” Parmenter said. “And in a month or so, those increasing prices will reverse course, and begin a downward trend toward year’s end.”

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