Sticker shock. That was the feeling that much of the country, including the Roanoke Valley, had last Friday when gasoline prices shot up in at least 20 cent increments throughout the day.
It’s not over. If you thought fuel prices rose to the highest peak possible last weekend, don’t hold your breath. Average prices are likely to move to $4 a gallon this week, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. Most oil refineries in the Gulf Coast have not yet resumed power and assessed wind and water damage, in the wake of Hurricane Ike. It could be three weeks before they are back in operation, states a news release from AAA Mid-Atlantic, based in Richmond.
Also, there are power supply issues for Gulf Coast pipelines carrying crude oil and refined products in other parts of the country.
AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts that September will be a “problem-prone” month for fuel prices and supplies.
Today, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Roanoke is $4.13, compared with $3.54 a week ago and $2.62 a year ago, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.