ATLANTA (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Gasoline prices rose several cents overnight amid continuing fears of shortages in Texas and other states in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s strike on the Gulf Coast.
The national average for a gallon of regular gas rose in one day from $2.45 Thursday to $2.52 Friday, the American Automobile Association reported .
At least two major pipelines — one that ships gasoline across the southern United States and to New York, and another that flows north to Chicago — have been slowed or stopped because of flooding and damage.
Gas prices rose at least .15 cents in 24 hours in several metropolitan areas including Dallas; El Paso, Texas; Athens, Georgia; and Dayton, Ohio, AAA reported Friday.
The average price of a gallon of gas had soared by at least .10 cents in eight states since Thursday: Texas, South Carolina, Ohio, Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
Part of the pipeline that runs through Texas is shut down and inspections must be done before the entire system can be fully operational again, Colonial Pipeline spokesman Steve Baker said Thursday. The Georgia-based company remains able to operate its pipeline from Louisiana to states east and northeast of there, though deliveries will be “intermittent,” the company said. It hopes to return more sections of the pipeline to service by Sunday.
In Dallas, drivers lined up at gas pumps Thursday as some stations ran out of fuel.
One Chevron station in downtown Dallas that sold regular gas for $2.29 a gallon just before the storm was charging $2.99 Thursday. Others charged well over $3, and one downtown Shell station charged $3.97 for a regular gallon of gas.
Lines are so long that it is affecting traffic in North Texas. In Grand Prairie the school district warned parents on Thursday that buses were running late because of crowded streets around gas stations.
The crunch prompted QuikTrip, one of the nation’s largest convenience store chains, to temporarily halt gasoline sales at about half its 135 stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Instead, gasoline deliveries are going to designated stores across all parts of the metro area, QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said.
Analysts are cautioning drivers not to panic as some gas stations run low on gasoline.
If people start hoarding gas, as some have in Texas, “that’s going to make the problem worse, and prices shoot higher and the event will last longer, with more disruption and shortages,” said Patrick DeHaan, an analyst with GasBuddy.com.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)