Local gas prices on the rise due to Tropical Storm Harvey - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local gas prices on the rise due to Tropical Storm Harvey

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Drivers in the Tennessee Valley are starting to feel the impact of Tropical Storm Harvey at the pumps. 

Steve Ray, the owner of Midnite Oil in Ooltewah, says the hike in gas prices is in line with the prices we saw years ago during Hurricane Katrina. He says he had to increase his price by $0.12 in just a few hours.

He's hoping things will return to normal soon, but he says there's no need to panic. 

"That's astronomical. You figure when you see a tanker go by there is normally 8,400 gallons. Now just multiply $0.12 times 8,400. That's the increase that you're seeing," said Ray. "No matter where you buy your gasoline or who the person's distributor is everybody's working behind-the-scenes to get gasoline to you." 

Drivers like Kevin Kilgore are filling up before it gets any worse. 

"I just figured I'd get some gas before people run out because it is going up. I understand it's supply and demand and you know people are going to pay to get what they need "  said Kilgore. 

 Ray says Tropical Storm Harvey is behind higher prices at the pump.

Saudi Aramco-owned Motiva refinery, which is the largest in the country, began a controlled shut-down of its port Arthur, Texas facility early Wednesday morning because of flooding. Exxon shut down its oil refinery in Baytown, Texas on Sunday after it suffered roof damage. It's the second largest refinery in the country. 

"You have to have workers at a refinery and they can't get there. So the easiest thing to do is to shut it down for a day or two until everybody can get there or they can make means for transportation for their workers," said Ray. 

Some gas stations haven't peaked yet. According to Channel 3's "Fuel Finder" feature, the cheapest gas in Chattanooga is $1.91, but Ray says their prices will match his soon. 

He says the chances of a shortage is low, but Kilgore says he's going taking precaution just in case. 

"I have three kids in school so I do a lot of running around you know try to minimize the number of trips I guess," said Kilgore. 

AAA says the states likely to see the largest rise in gas prices are Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

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