Pump prices on the rise due to Hurricane Harvey

Pump prices on the rise due to Hurricane Harvey

WATCH: Pump prices are already on the rise, thanks to Hurricane Harvey. Will B.C. drivers see a spike? Tess van Straaten takes a look.

Flood waters are ravaging Houston, the fourth-largest city in the U.S. and the rain just keeps on coming.

Water has swallowed entire neighbourhoods, flooded major highways and brought the oil city to a standstill.

“This is a land mark event,” FEMA Director Brock Long told reporters on Monday. “We have not seen an event like this.”

The devastating storm has already shut down at least 10 refineries in the Houston and Corpus Christi areas, which process up to 2.2 million barrels of crude oil. As a result, gas prices are already rising in nearby states.

“We see events like this happen that affect gasoline disruption or crude oil supply and you’ll see retailers engage in what they call inventory protection, where they imagine their next delivery will be that much more expensive so they jack up the price immediately,” says oil analyst Robert Sinclair, Jr. of AAA Northeast.

That’s bad news for consumers not just in the U.S., but in Canada as well with a three-cent-a-litre increase forecast for much of the country.

But there is some good news for B.C. drivers.

Analysts are predicting prices will actually go down in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island by about the same amount. The reason? We can thank last week’s solar eclipse.

An influx of eclipse visitors in Oregon fueled fears of a gas shortage, prompting stations to buy lots of extra fuel.

Experts say that pushed prices up throughout the Pacific Northwest and those prices are coming down faster than the push in prices from Harvey.

And ironically, gas analysts say all the flooded Texas roadways will also help moderate the pain at the pump as demand will be decreased.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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