Gas prices in Tampa Bay are unlikely to be affected before or after Hurricane Ian strikes the state, AAA, the Auto Club Group, said Monday.
The group said that gas prices around Florida are likely to hold steady or even continue falling as the storm enters the Gulf of Mexico.
“There’s actually downward pressure on pump prices, despite the forecast that a hurricane would approach Florida this week,” AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins said in a statement. “Since (Hurricane) Ian is not projected to impact the refineries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, it’s unlikely that the storm itself or the resulting demand would cause pump prices to spike.”
Fuel prices in Florida fell 4 cents per gallon last week to hit a statewide average of $3.38 per gallon, the lowest it’s been since January. In Tampa Bay, the average price per gallon is $3.36. Other Gulf Coast metro prices include $3.34 in Sarasota and Bradenton, $3.28 in Punta Gorda and $3.37 in Homosassa Springs.
AAA said that while prices aren’t expected to spike in the coming days, drivers are likely to see empty pumps as they fuel up for evacuations or fill cans for generators and emergencies. Stations will continue receiving gas shipments from other states as long as weather allows.
“The bottom line is, don’t panic about gasoline supplies, just take what you need,” Jenkins continued. “The state makes it a priority to keep gasoline shipments going as long as it’s safe to do so. Once the storm passes, shipments will resume as soon as possible.”
If drivers see what appears to be price gouging at pumps in the coming days, they’re encouraged to contact the Florida Attorney General’s office at 866-966-7226.
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2022 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide
IT'S STORM SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.
RISING THREAT: Tampa Bay will flood. Here's how to get ready.
DOUBLE-CHECK: Checklists for building all kinds of hurricane kits
PHONE IT IN: Use your smartphone to protect your data, documents and photos.
SELF-CARE: Protect your mental health during a hurricane.
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