CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Hurricane Harvey is expected to make landfall Friday night, and aside from flooding and safety risks near the Gulf Coast, the rest of the country may feel the storm's impact in their wallets.
Gas prices have already begun rising for a good portion of the country, as several main refineries in Corpus Christi have shut down. Refineries in Houston are also at risk of closing due to the storm.
"Without these refineries constantly refining oil into gasoline, there is really no other way to get gasoline," Patrick DeHaan said, who is a senior petroleum analyst with Gas Buddy.
The loss in gas production likely means a hike in prices at the pump. It is too soon to tell how much prices could rise, but experts say so far this storm has been unimpressive in comparison to previous storms that have impacted gas prices.
"I would say in North Carolina, we could see prices rise maybe another five to 10 cents, nothing that I would get too worried about," DeHann said.
In comparison, Hurricane Katrina caused the whole sale cost of gas to jump 40 cents a gallon. In Charlotte, many residents remember the spike and even remember gas stations in the area shutting down.
"Cars parked in the middle of the street, lines when they did have gas backed up to blocks away just to get a couple of gallons, so I know how it feels," Anthony Myrick said.
While gas experts do not predict this storm will have that kind of impact on gas prices, they do say we are not out of the woods yet.
"There is a possibility, that in a worst case scenario, Gulf Coast refineries that send gas up through the Colonial pipeline could no longer do so, then that could obviously have a major impact, but I think that's probably a pretty low risk scenario thus far, but something to keep in mind," DeHaan said.
According to Colonial Pipeline's website, the company delivers more than 100 million gallons of gasoline and other refined petroleum products throughout the south and eastern U.S. on a daily basis.
Gas experts also warn consumers to be aware of price gauging this weekend. They advise you to always check around for prices at other convenience stores before stopping at the first store you see.
You can view gas prices in your area at northcarolinagasprices.com or on the Gas Buddy app.