Metro Atlanta gas prices keep going up

Gas prices  continue to rise in metro Atlanta during Labor Day weekend, including at this station near Doraville on Saturday. MATT KEMPNER / MATTHEW.KEMPNER@AJC.COM
Caption
Gas prices continue to rise in metro Atlanta during Labor Day weekend, including at this station near Doraville on Saturday. MATT KEMPNER / MATTHEW.KEMPNER@AJC.COM

Gas prices in metro Atlanta and elsewhere in Georgia continued to rise Saturday, as drivers kicked off Labor Day weekend travels amid continuing impacts from what once was Hurricane Harvey.

Atlanta prices increased another 2 cents on average Saturday morning, according to an analyst for Gas Buddy, and as of late morning, they averaged $2.74 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

But that was on top of a sharp spike Friday, when Atlanta prices jumped more than 12 cents compared to the day before, according to AAA — The Auto Club Group, which captures daily prices through 3 a.m. Before Harvey, Georgia averaged $2.28 a gallon for regular unleaded.

Prices for the week are up more than 40 cents a gallon in metro Atlanta.

Meanwhile, drivers reported spotty supplies in just a few scattered areas locally, with most reports showing stations with fuel, said Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.

“I wouldn’t be too worried yet about widespread issues,” he said.

The ripple effects of Harvey in Texas, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico have been blamed for driving up prices at pumps locally on top of normal increases tied to expectations of increased demand from Labor Day weekend travelers.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my God, why is it so high?’ ” said Larry Houser of Doraville while filling up Saturday. Then he said he figured out it was Harvey’s fault.

“It’s crazy. I hope they go down soon.”

Bad news on that front. Both AAA and GasBuddy expect prices to go up more.

Expect prices to rise another 10 to 20 cents around the nation, with prices in Georgia and the Southeast hugging the upper end of that scale, said Megan Osborne, a spokeswoman for AAA — The Auto Club Group.

The Southeast typically relies on gasoline from Gulf Coast areas affected by the hurricane.

Refineries in the Houston area apparently didn’t suffer a lot of damage and are expected to be back online fairly quickly, Osborne said.

Prices should recede in late September or early October, she said.

And there should be sufficient fuel supplies, she said. “We are not expecting to see bags on the pump anytime soon.”

She pointed out that the federal government has released hundreds of thousands of barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and refineries in the Northeast are increasing production to send fuel to the Southeast by barge.

In other news:

Caption
People who live in the area say the hole gets bigger every time it rains.