AAA: Hurricane Harvey may spike East Tennessee gas prices

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The oil industry is shutting down operations as Hurricane Harvey moves through the gulf. Oil rigs and refineries along the Gulf Coast are being threatened by the storm’s path, some shutting down business before it touches down.

AAA East Tennessee is warning drivers that the storm could impact gas prices but it’s too soon to tell what kind of problems could happen.

Owning Homestead Construction comes with a price.

“We use a lot of gas running generators,” said owner Travis Tummel.

Tummel and his co-owner, Brandon Schneider, say they each fill up their trucks once a week.

“It usually costs about $70,” said Tummel.

LATEST ON HURRICANE HARVEY

“Around $50 is what it costs,” added Schneider.

Both say they’re not worried about the price of gas skyrocketing as Hurricane Harvey inches closer.

“We may think about running around and getting our rucks filled with gas in case the price of gas goes up,” said Tummel.

AAA East Tennessee says they don’t believe there will be widespread outages at this point.

“We will more than likely see prices going up anywhere from 10 cents to 30 cents just because of the disruptions this hurricane has already caused,” said Stephanie Milani with AAA.

Milani says if the storm hits further East of its current path, the impact on refineries could be even greater, “The other threat that we have is of that flooding and long-term damage. It may disrupt the pipeline flow which is very critical for Tennessee because that’s how we get our crude oil and gasoline up to us.”

While so many wait out the storm, AAA wants East Tennessee drivers to know there’s no need to panic.

“Just continue with your plans, continue driving and filling up your gas tank as you normally would,” said Milani.

“It is what it is,” said Tummel.

For the latest on fuel prices, you can visit AAA’s website by clicking here.

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