HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Gas prices in Hampton Roads increased over the weekend due to a pipeline gas leak in Alabama, according to AAA.
The organization says prices went up two cents from Sunday, up three cents from a week ago, and up 11 cents from last month.
AAA says a leak in one of the Colonial Pipeline’s lines raised prices throughout the South and parts of the Mid-Atlantic.
“We expect the gas to go up on the holidays, to shoot up on holidays occasionally but on a normal day like today, that was unbelievable,” said Norfolk driver Kelvin Waye.
Waye says he paid $1.99 per gallon filling up on Sunday and was surprised to see prices near $2.15 a gallon on Monday.
“That means that’s putting us in a panic. We already see they’re running out of gas in South Carolina,” Waye said.
Old Dominion University Assistant Professor of Economics Tim Komarek said Hampton Roads should not see a shortage of gas like other southern states.
“The further south you go, further to the pipeline disruption that happened, the tougher it is to reroute gas and that sort of thing to those areas. So Alabama and Georgia is where you’ll see those issues,” he said.
Komarek said even though the pipeline supplies about 40 percent of gasoline to the East Coast, the disruption is small compared to the type of disruption a hurricane could cause.
According to Colonial Pipeline, they’re temporarily shipping gas from Gulf Coast refineries directly to multiple markets for distribution.
This weekend, Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency, which will loosen state and federal regulations to allow oil tanker drivers to work longer to get gas to places affected.
Komarek says these two actions combined should prevent price gauging in our area.
“If there’s any price increase, it should be short lived,” he said.
While Komarek expects the prices to go back down sometime in the near future, drivers say the surprised jump will still hit them where it hurts.
“You budget your money on your gas and you wake up and the gas went up and you’re like, ‘I got to put 20 more dollars in my car by the end of the week,'” said Waye.