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Verify: Could gas prices go up because of Hurricane Ian?

Experts believe that if prices go up, it'll likely be due to high demand and low supply as a result of panic buying – not because of Hurricane Ian's path.

ATLANTA — As of Tuesday, a gallon of gas will cost you an average of $3.20 per gallon. In Tampa, the average is about 15 cents more per gallon, according to GasBuddy.

However, don't forget, Georgia's gas tax is currently on pause, saving you 29 cents per gallon. 

There are a lot of questions right now about if the storm could impact gas prices. 

While we keep an eye on Hurricane Ian, we’re also keeping an eye on the gas pumps.


Could gas prices go up because of Hurricane Ian?



Prices are not expected to go up due to Hurricane Ian. However, AAA believes that panic buying at the pumps could cause prices to slightly increase.


In a statement, AAA said in part, that gas prices in Georgia have risen slightly overnight (from Monday to Tuesday) likely due to the anticipation that the storm may cause distribution problems and flooded roads.

It adds that if southern refineries are damaged by the storm, it could potentially impact prices too.

GasBuddy spokesperson Nicole Petersen explained that as of now, that’s not expected to be the case.

“We are not expecting too much of a change in gas prices," she said. "The storm is expected to kind of avoid those major refineries in the Mississippi, Louisiana, Gulf Coast area. So shouldn't see too many refinery impacts from the current projected path of the hurricane."

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Both sources urge people to not run out and buy gas in a panic, because that could be what potentially drives prices up at the pump, driving demand up and supply down. 

“We really encourage drivers, especially outside of the state of Florida, to not panic buy fuel," Petersen added. "In most case scenarios, filling up multiple tanks of gas or filling up when you don't really need it just makes the situation worse and limit supply for people who do really need it."

So, while according to AAA, you might see a slight - temporary - increase in prices, GasBuddy said it won't be due to the storm. 

"If southern refineries are damaged by the storm and must go offline, this can impact gas prices as well," AAA said in the statement. "We can't predict how much prices will increase at this time, but more than likely it will be temporary increases and we may see prices start to trend downward after the storm passes."

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