Virginia Motorists May See Gas Prices Spike as Hurricane Florence Approaches

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (September 10, 2018) – Virginia remains one of the top ten states with the least expensive gas prices for the moment. As Hurricane Florence continues toward the East Coast, gas prices could spike up temporarily. Currently, the average price for gas in the Commonwealth is $2.61 which is one cent less than last week and seven cents more than last year. In Hampton Roads, one of the areas that rest on the East Coast, the price is presently $2.60 per gallon, a penny less than last week, but a 10 cent increase from last year.

With the switchover to winter-blend gasoline fast approaching (September 15), gas prices are expected to decline this month. The threat of Hurricane Florence —  which is now a Category 2 storm and projected to hit between South Carolina and Virginia by end of this week —will likely have an impact on East Coast gas prices this week should the storm follow its projected path.

 

“A storm like this typically causes an increase in fuel purchases in the market as consumers take steps to prepare ahead of the storm. Motorists can expect spikes in pump prices to be brief, but possibly dramatic,” said Georjeane Blumling, AAA spokesperson.

 

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped two cents to settle at $67.75. The drop in the price of crude oil can be attributed to several factors including increasing U.S. gasoline inventories, wariness regarding U.S. sanctions against Iran, and instability in production in Libya and Venezuela. According to EIA’s report, total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.8 million bbl last week and are about 7 percent above the five-year average for this time of year. At the same time, crude oil stocks dropped 4.3 million barrels from the previous week as refinery utilization rates reached 96.6 percent. These market dynamics are mostly keeping gas prices flat, but a factor that may negatively impact prices is the threat of Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic. While it is still too early to pinpoint exactly where it will make landfall, the National Hurricane Center reports landfall could occur somewhere between South Carolina and Virginia late this week.

 

As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia.

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AAA Tidewater Virginia is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the Tidewater Virginia region (All Hampton Roads cities, including Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg; Virginia's Eastern Shore; as well as the following counties: Greensville, Surry, Brunswick, Isle of Wight, Gloucester, Lancaster, Middlesex, Richmond County, Southampton, Sussex, Mecklenburg, James City County, York, Lunenburg, Essex, King & Queen, Mathews, Northumberland, and Westmoreland).