CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Hurricane, then tropical storm Harvey has already caused gas prices to spike this week, and now gas experts are saying they could jump even higher in the next two to three weeks.
On Friday before Harvey made landfall, Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHann said they expected an increase of about five to 10 cents. However, DeHann said a lot was left to be determined until Harvey hit. He said in a worst case scenario the Colonial Pipeline could shut down.
Wednesday morning, the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies about 100 million petroleum products from Houston all the way to New York on a daily basis, shut down.
The shutdown is causing a shortage of gasoline, including gas into the Carolinas.
"There are other refineries running in the northeast that are functioning at full capacity, trying to help with supply, but this is a pretty big deal, the Colonial Pipeline shutting down," Petroleum Analyst for Gas Buddy Allison Mac said. "We are going to see prices jump pretty dramatically in the next couple of weeks.
On average, gas prices in the entire state of North Carolina have spiked by about 20 cents since last week. In all of South Carolina, on average prices have spiked about 22 cents since last week.
Because of the refineries closing, Gas Buddy analysts expect another 20 to 35 cent increase for a gallon of gas in the next two to three weeks.
"Because it's [Harvey] hitting the epicenter of refineries, where gas is being produced at a very high volume, that's one of the big reasons we are seeing such a big impact," Mac said.
Analysts say until damage to the refineries is assessed, they won't know how long the shortage and therefore the hike in gas prices will last.
You can track and report prices and shortages in your area at tracker.gasbuddy.com.