BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Maryland drivers prepare to feel some pain at the pump. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, more than a dozen oil refineries have slammed the doors shut. Meaning less gas nationwide.
If you’ve filled up this week, you know gas price are holding steady for now, but oil experts say the numbers could spike.
Just as Marylanders start to travel for the holiday weekend, the devastating surge of water slammed into Texas. The flow of Gulf Coast gasoline trickled.
The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey shut down the Port of Houston, closing thirteen oil refineries, including the second largest in the U.S. In turn erasing one-fifth of the country’s refining capability.
Energy giants across the coutry are simply running on empty.
“Refineries have no oil left to refine. They need ships to come into their port with crude oil, so they can refine that oil into gasoline,” said Patrick Dehaan of GasBuddy.
Dehaan says for Maryland drivers, that means less gas that will cost more money.
Residents should expect gas to rise 15 to 25 cents a gallon nationwide. So far, Marylanders have only seen a four cent spike.
Driver Karen Batterton is watching closely as the numbers ticks up.
“Could see the difference between yesterday and today,” Batterton said.
For Batterton, keeping in business means keeping on the road. She fills up twice a week.
“It will affect my business when I get back, because I’m a realtor, and I’m in my car all the time,” she said.
Americans have paid a higher price tag before in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. After the storm gas prices soared 46 cents.
“The domino effect has been quick. it has been severe, and some areas of the country could be looking at real shortages of gasoline,” Dehaan said.
Maryland is expected to see less of a hike compared to areas of the Midwest which rely heavily on Gulf Coast oil.
The refineries that shut down because of flooding haven’t reported major damage. Some are reportedly trying to get back to business.