Will Hurricane Harvey affect prices at the pump?

Posted: Updated:
(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Pump prices across the country continue to fluctuate as the end of the summer driving season nears and Hurricane Harvey heads towards the Gulf Coast.

Thursday's statewide average is $2.257 per gallon, which is an increase of 3.6 cents over last month and almost 19 cents more than this time last year.

Hurricane Harvey has the potential to negatively affect five southern Texas coast refineries as well as crude and gasoline inventory levels in the region and beyond as it bears down on the Gulf of Mexico. The National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center expects Harvey to approach the southern Texas coast on Friday.

“The mere threat of a hurricane typically tightens gasoline supply and can cause precautionary refinery shutdowns, which ultimately halt supply production for a short time period,” said Michelle Donati, communications manager for AAA Arizona. “However, post-hurricane, refineries return to full operational status as quickly as possible and imports are an option to return supply to pre-hurricane levels.”

South Carolina and California hold the lowest and highest average price for the lower 48 states at $2.065 and $2.981per gallon, respectively.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.