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How hurricane season could impact rising gas prices in the Northeast

Fuel dispenser on April 24, 2023 in New York City. The northeast has been a significant increase on gas prices.
Leonardo Munoz
/
Getty Images
Fuel dispenser on April 24, 2023 in New York City. The northeast has been a significant increase on gas prices.

AAA is expecting Labor Day weekend travel to be higher than it was in 2022, despite gas prices going up in recent weeks. But hurricane season could potentially impact gas supply in the Northeast, which could cause more price volatility.

Gas prices are lower across Connecticut than this time last year. In June of 2022, the average price of gas in Connecticut reached a record high of nearly $5 a gallon, according to AAA.

The average gas price is around $3.80 a gallon now, after weeks on the rise.

In Massachusetts the average cost of a gallon of gas is down a penny from last week, sitting at $3.76. That's 13 cents higher than a month ago, but a nickel lower than the national average.

While Hurricane Idalia would have more immediate impacts on supply in southeastern portions of the country, hurricanes have the potential to bring ripple effects to gas stations up north, said Tracy Noble, a spokesperson with AAA in Greater Hartford.

“Weather plays a part of the delivery, of the shipping, and of the cost,” Noble said. “As we come into this hurricane season with several named storms on the horizon, it's anybody's guess what we could see in the next coming weeks and months.”

Heavy storms in the Northeast have historically impacted gas supply in the region. After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, areas of New York and New Jersey experienced severe gas shortages.

The coming months also usually bring a seasonal switch to winter-grade fuels which are typically less expensive, Noble said.

And as the long weekend approaches, she said there are ways to avoid wasting fuel on the roads: Avoiding “jack rabbit” starts and abrupt stops, driving the speed limit, and eliminating extra baggage from your vehicle will all help to increase your fuel mileage.

AAA also suggests traveling before 7 in the morning and after 8 o’clock at night over the long weekend to avoid road congestion.

This story was originally published on Connecticut Public Radio.

As Connecticut Public's state government reporter, Michayla Savitt focuses on how policy decisions directly impact the state’s communities and livelihoods. Michayla has been with Connecticut Public since February 2022, and before that she was a producer and host for audio news outlets around New York state. When not on deadline, Michayla is probably outside with her rescue dog, Elphie. Thoughts? Jokes? Tips? Email msavitt@ctpublic.org.
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