RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gas prices in North Carolina are down four cents from last month, according to AAA Carolinas, but prices could go up due to gas lines shutting down during Hurricane Ida.
Colonial Pipeline shut down two of its southeast lines on Sunday as a precaution due to Hurricane Ida. The company said it could have those lines back up sometime Monday if it completes all restart protocols.
AAA Carolinas spokeswoman Tiffany Wright said the impact on local gas prices all depends on the shutdown length. She said the brief shutdown should only have a small impact at the pump.
“If the shutdown is only for hours, you know we’re talking less than 24 hours, less than 48 hours, I don’t think we’re gonna see that much of an impact,” Wright said.
Shutdown aside, Wright said gas prices always go up Labor Day Weekend due to high demand.
In North Carolina, she said the mountains and the coast are usually hardest hit by gas price increases, two popular Labor Day destinations.
“We have a pipeline issue and then we have a travel holiday upon us, so when you add those two combinations together, I mean that’s kind of the perfect storm for prices to remain high or to continue to climb,” Wright said.
CBS 17 drove around Raleigh and found gas prices ranging from $2.56 at wholesale membership clubs to more than $2.90 at multiple places. According to AAA Carolinas, the average price of gas in the state is $2.88.
Sam Crumpton is budgeting $3 a gallon for his journey back to Texas, but if gas ends up being more it won’t stop his trip.
“No choice, yes, it’s not like gas is too high I’m just gonna stay right where I am, nuh-uh,” Crumpton said.
Wright said AAA does not expect travelers to change plans due to gas prices. She is urging people not to panic buy and added there won’t be widespread shortages from a brief shutdown.