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Gas prices on the U.S. East Coast are expected to surge this week ahead of and during Hurricane Florence’s landfall, as residents have started to evacuate from the Carolinas and Virginia, for which U.S. President Donald Trump has declared that a state of emergency exists.
“A storm like this typically causes an increase in fuel purchases in the market and a slowdown in retail demand. Motorists can expect spikes in pump prices to be brief, but possibly dramatic,” Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia ordered mandatory evacuation in areas of their states earlier this week.
“We face three critical threats from Florence: ocean surge along our coast, strong winds, and inland flooding from heavy rain,” North Carolina Governor Cooper said on Monday. “Wherever you live in North Carolina, you need to get ready for this storm now and you need to evacuate if asked to.”
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency for Virginia over the weekend, and on Monday he requested federal assistance and ordered mandatory evacuations of residents of Zone A, Virginia’s low-lying coastal areas in Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore. Gov. Northam urged all Virginians to begin making storm preparations immediately.
Coastal residents have already started leaving the shores and heading west inland, but many are finding empty gas pumps as gasoline stations are sold out of gas.
“The waves and the wind this storm may bring is nothing like you’ve ever seen. Even if you’ve ridden out storms before, this one is different. Don’t bet your life on riding out a monster,” North Carolina Gov. Cooper said, as quoted by The Associated Press.
Hurricane Florence, which early on Wednesday was expected to make landfall on Friday near Wilmington, N.C., pushed oil prices higher on Tuesday.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.
You can thank Senator John Borrasso of Wyoming for that, he helped to block summertime E-15 sales. He said, "The people of Wyoming want less ethanol, not more." He blocked your free choice of fuels at the pump! So, enjoy your gasoline price spikes! The “people of Wyoming,” could probably care less, after all, they are 2,000 miles away, safe and warm. (All 200,000 of them!)