TAMPA (FOX 13) - Gas prices throughout Tampa Bay began to creep up over the weekend and are expected to continue doing so as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
According to Gas Buddy, a company that tracks fuel prices, pump costs rose about 12 cents over the last week. Mark Jenkins, a spokesperson for AAA, said that prices could rise as much as 30 cents in the coming days.
"The market was kind of holding back, they wanted to wait to see the full impacts of the storm before reacting. This morning when the market opened, it really did respond," Jenkins told FOX 13. "Wholesale prices are skyrocketing and what's that going to mean is it's more expensive for retailers to get their gasoline, they're going to pass along the higher expense onto motorists."
In Florida, gas prices are ranging from roughly $2.30 to $2.40, with stations in the Bay Area charging on the lower end of that range.
Hurricane Harvey hit one of Florida's major supply lines, forcing evacuations at multiple refineries. It also caused oil companies to halt nearly a third of its production.
Jenkins said, despite that, the fuel supply does not appear to be at risk.
"There are refineries all along the Gulf Coast, from Texas over to Alabama. So we have plenty of alternatives. Supplies should not be a concern," he said.
Drivers, meanwhile, realize this is an expected frustration and are keeping things in perspective.
"Being a resident of Florida, we see it every year. Every time a hurricane comes through the gulf, we see gas prices go up," said Craig Ward, a Tampa driver.
"I think that hits a lot of pockets," added Roland Ayzelman, adding he's more concerned about the people directly impacted by the storm. "It's definitely a terrible tragedy, just hopefully they’ll overcome it."