As Hurricane Harvey looms over the Texas Gulf Coast, drivers in North Carolina could start to see an impact on gas prices.
Oil refineries along the coast are shutting down as the storm gets closer, a precaution for the people who work there and the infrastructure.
"Several have closed down in the dance of the storm," explains Dan McTeague, Senior Petroleum Analyst at gasbuddy.com. He adds flooding after the storm could keep refineries offline for a few weeks, which would lead to a spike in gas prices down the road.
Right now, prices in the Triad range from $2.12 - $2.19 per gallon but experts at gasbuddy.com expect that to rise about 5-10 cents throughout the weekend. If floods remain after the storm passes, prices could continue to rise ahead of Labor Day Weekend.
"Most retailers and refineries and the markets are taking a 'wait and see' approach," McTeague tells.
More than a third of the country's petroleum comes from 'Refinery Row,' which refers to the coast from Corpus Christi, TX all the way up to Mississippi.
North Carolina has two major pipelines that supply from the Gulf Coast, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Gas is also shipped in through Wilmington, and supplied to retailers across the state.
According to USA Today, Hurricane Katrina was the last storm to significantly impact U.S. gasoline supplies.
The EIA reported that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was reduced by more than 1.3 million barrels per day. That is about 91 percent of its daily production.
The New York Times reported that gas averaged $2.60 and jumped to $3.09 and above because of Hurricane Katrina
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