With Harvey and Irma gone, why are gas prices still so high?

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN ) – The effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey sure have taken a toll at the pump.

Drivers across North Carolina are paying about 60 cents more a gallon than they were this time a year ago.

“It’s really bad,” said Jackie Calles, Durham resident.

The prices jumped during Hurricane Harvey when some refineries that supply gas to North Carolina went offline.

But Harvey hit Texas about three weeks ago and prices largely remain stagnant.


“I’m a little surprised that it’s still high,” said James Sheppard, Raleigh resident.

In the Triangle, AAA Carolina has the average price of a gallon of regular at $2.61.

A month ago, it was $2.23.

“It takes a lot for things to get back up and running and then for the gas to get here,” said Steve Byers, who owns the Grocery Boy Junior on Lake Wheeler Road in Raleigh. “You just can’t snap your fingers and it gets here.”

Byers said getting gas here remains a question of logistics.

“Instead of coming up the regular pipeline from Atlanta, we’re having to get it to go up through the Mississippi, up through the Great Lakes and come down the coast,” said Byers. “It takes longer to get it here and it costs more to get it here.”

AAA Carolinas estimates it could be until late September or early October before North Carolina finally sees prices go back to normal.

For some drivers, that time can’t come soon enough.

“That money could be going toward something else, not just on gas,” said Calles.

Crews are still trying to get some refineries online.

The good news? AAA Carolinas said once the market does settle, gas prices typically tend to drop this time of year.

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