Gas prices could spike due to Tropical Storm Barry

Oil prices surge as storm forms

By Ezzy Castro - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Tropical Storm Barry could affect gas prices in Florida as oil producers in Texas and Louisiana shut down to prepare for the worst. 

This week oil surged above $60 a barrel ahead of the storm. 

According to the AAA, Florida gas prices rose almost 50 cents due to Hurricane Harvey when it made landfall in Texas in 2017.

"We are only seeing an increase really about 5 to 10 cents at the pump, but of course this could all possibly change as the storm moves closer to land," Mark Jenkins, with AAA, said. 

Even though the storm will not necessarily impact Central Florida, it could derail crude production in the Gulf of Mexico.

"A third of Gulf Coast oil production that’s up right now, that just means that there is less oil going into the refineries," Jenkins said.

Gary Butler, who commutes from Lake County to Merritt Island daily, is not taking any chances and filled up his tank before prices change. 

"Go ahead and fill up your trucks now, fill up your mowers, do what you can. Use it moderately until we see what happens," Butler said. 

Florida drivers are now paying an average of $2.67 per gallon at the pump, according to AAA.

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