No surge for Suffolk gas prices

Published 10:11 pm Monday, September 17, 2018

Virginians were spared most of the effects of Hurricane Florence, and while there were many more serious potential problems, gas prices also appear to have emerged unscathed.

AAA Tidewater announced in a Monday press release that the hurricane had little to no impact on gas prices across the state.

As of Monday, Virginia’s gas prices continue to remain consistent at $2.62 per gallon, which is only a penny more compared to last month, according to the press release. Hampton Roads is steady and flat at $2.61 per gallon. Virginia continues to rank as ninth for the least expensive gas prices across the country.

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The Energy Information Administration reported the Lower Atlantic Region’s total gasoline stocks — including West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida — measured at 27.9 million barrels prior to Florence’s arrival. That’s 10-percent higher than the five-year average for this time of year, according to the press release.

Florence drove up gas prices in North Carolina by three cents and by one cent this past week, while all other states in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast region either saw prices decrease by a few cents or remain stable.

But fuel availability is a concern for motorists in coastal parts of North Carolina and Virginia. Residents filled up their tanks as they evacuated, leaving some gas stations with little to no fuel at their pumps, according to the press release.

The good news is that mid-Atlantic and Northeast regional gasoline inventories are healthy at 66.7 million barrels, which, according to the press release, is the second highest inventory level recorded for the region this year and the highest in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast region since March 2016.

Once water levels subside, roads become passable and power is restored, the region’s adequate supply could be a resource to assist with resupply in the hurricane-impacted area.

“Gasoline stocks in the hurricane-impacted area are healthy, but delivery of gasoline will be an impediment to meeting demand in coastal areas this week,” AAA spokeswoman Georjeane Blumling stated in the press release. “As power is restored, water recedes and roads open up, we will have a better idea of how quickly fuel deliveries can be made to gas stations in the area. And while fuel availability at stations is a concern, AAA expects station outages to be short-lived.” on Monday recorded regular gas prices at Suffolk pumps that ranged from as low as $2.47 to as high as $2.69 per gallon, which is a slight decrease compared to the $2.53-to-$2.69 range recorded on Sept. 11.

The average price per gallon in Suffolk has not eclipsed $2.70 since June 11, according to AAA.