Kansas City drivers felt the pinch at the pump as gas prices continued their climb Sunday in the Kansas City area and across the nation, reaching their highest level of the year.
Gas prices shot up after Hurricane Harvey hit southeast Texas and its oil refineries a little over a week ago.
On Sunday in Kansas City, the average price at the pump for regular gas was $2.55, according to the AAA’s daily gas price report.
That’s up nearly 40 cents since the days before Harvey made landfall. The effect wasn’t immediate — gas prices on average rose about 31 cents since last Sunday, after Harvey hit.
In Kansas too, prices jumped. The average price for regular gas in Kansas City, Kan., was $2.63 Sunday, up about 40 cents since before Harvey.
But that’s the average price. A spot check of some stations across the Kansas City area saw a mix of prices, including $2.57 in Kansas City, Kan., $2.59 in Kansas City, $2.65 in Roeland Park and $2.69 in Prairie Village.
The average price for regular gas on Sunday was about $2.44 in Missouri and about $2.48 in Kansas.
Nationally, the average price for regular gas is $2.62, up about 26 cents from a week ago.
The good news for drivers is the spike in gas prices is expected to be short-lived.
“Consumers will see a short-term spike in the coming weeks, with gas prices likely topping $2.50 per gallon, but quickly dropping by mid to late September,” AAA spokewsoman Jeanette Casselano said in a post on its gas price website Thursday.
“AAA does not expect refineries to be offline for months, as early reports indicate minimal to no significant damage to Corpus Christi and Houston refineries.”
The combination of refinery and pipeline shutdowns tightening access to supplies in the Gulf, and high demand during the Labor Day Weekend, helped fuel the increase in prices.
As of Sunday morning, nine refineries in the Gulf Coast region were shut down, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Seven refineries have begun restarting. It could take several days or weeks before they start producing, depending on whether any damage is found. At least four refineries were operating at reduced levels.