Drivers who plan to hit the road over Labor Day weekend will face higher gasoline prices because of the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the nation's refineries and pipelines.
After several days of heavy rain and flooding, gas pricesreached an average of nearly $2.51 a gallon, up 20 cents since two weeks ago and nearly 30 cents since this time last year, although they fell back a bit Friday.
Refineries throughout the Gulf Coast shut down or reduced production a week ago in anticipation of the high winds and heavy flooding from Harvey.
"Hurricane Harvey has significantly impacted the entire Texas gulf coast with the petroleum refining centers of Corpus Christi, Houston, Port Arthur, Beaumont, and Lake Charles, La., either completely shutdown or [having] significantly scaled back operations," according to a statement released by the Port of Corpus Christi.
As of Thursday afternoon, 10 refineries representing 16.6 percent of daily U.S. refining capacity were shut down, according to the Department of Energy.
The nation's largest refinery, in Port Arthur, Texas, is expected to be closed for at least two weeks, Reuters reported. All told about 4.4 million barrels of daily oil production have been suspended.