Why local gas prices may be impacted for longer than expected due to hurricanes

Why local gas prices may be impacted for longer than expected due to hurricanes (WRGB)

SCHENECTADY, NY (WRGB)-- Between Hurricane Irma and prices at the pump, Arielle Witkowski is feeling a double punch.

“I’m worried I’m going to sit in traffic, and run out of gas, and also be paying an astronomical amount for gas,” Witkowski said.

Witkoski spent the summer as an exercise trainer at Saratoga Race Course. Her parent’s home near Naples, Florida was in the eye of the storm, and they're unsure if there's anything left.

Now, she's forced to drive to Florida because her flight was canceled, and with fuel shortages down south, she's unsure what she'll face.

“I just drove down to Manhattan two days ago and prices there were 3 dollars everywhere,” Witkowski said.

Analysts had predicted sticker prices would fall by mid-September after Hurricane Harvey, but Stewart’s Spokesperson Maria D’ Amelia says that was before Irma.

“You have a double whammy here with the two hurricanes back-to-back like this,” D’ Amelia said.

D’ Amelia says while Harvey was the only storm to directly impact refineries and a crucial oil pipeline, both storms impacted supply to the Northeast.

“The other portion of our supply comes from barges which had been impacted by the second hurricane,” D’ Amelia said.

But AAA Northway Director of Public Affairs Eric Stigburg says relief should be coming soon.

“By the end of the month, I think we'll start to see prices back to normal,” Stigburg said.

Just how low could they go?

“We're talking $2.30, $2.25 locally, provided everything stays the same,” Stigburg said.

Stigburg said gas prices have stabilized, but are expected to go down a lot slower than they went up. He says consumers should expect to see a couple pennies off a week.

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