Hurricane Florence May Cause Gas Price Surge Along East Coast

September 13, 2018, 4:11 PM UTC

The ripple effect from Hurricane Florence could extend into wallets all along the eastern seaboard.

AAA is warning consumers that gas prices could spike as a result of the storm, right at the time of year when gas traditionally begins to get a bit cheaper.

“A storm like this typically causes an increase in fuel purchases in the market and a slowdown in retail demand. Motorists can expect spikes in pump prices to be brief, but possibly dramatic,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.

As of Sept. 10, the average price of gas nationwide had gone up one cent. But as citizens evacuate hurricane zones (and then head back), it could go up more. Gas, at present, is slightly more expensive than it was a year ago.

Gas, traditionally, starts to get less expensive at this time of year, as providers switch to a winter-blend of gasoline. AAA says it still expects those prices to fall after the Florence spike.

South Carolina, North Carolina and parts of Maryland and Virginia are under evacuation orders as the storm approaches. All totaled, more than 1 million people are estimated to have left their homes to escape Florence.