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HURRICANE HARVEY TO IMPACT TENNESSEE GAS PRICES

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A release from AAA said that nearly one-third of U.S. refining capacity is in the hurricane’s path. “Tennessee gas stations are supplied by pipelines, many of which come from the Gulf Coast,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee Public Affairs Director, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Pump prices have held steady the last week in Tennessee, but with pre-existing refinery issues in the region and the possibility of supply distribution due to the storm, gas prices could surge from 10 to 30 cents.” There are three gasoline refineries, 4.2 percent of U.S. capacity, in Corpus Christi, where Hurricane Harvey is expected to fall. The Oil Pricing Information Service (OPIS) reports that the most serious threat is wind damage impacting power supplies. A longer lasting storm that dumps significant amounts of rain could, however, cause major flooding problems, which could damage equipment. AAA reports that if a Category 1 hurricane hits a refining center, it would take about a week to get operations back to normal. A Category 2 hurricane would take one to two weeks, and a Category 3 hurricane would take two to three weeks of recovery time. On Friday, Harvey was upgraded to a Category 3 storm. AAA recommends Tennessee drivers continue normal fueling patterns and not fill up more often or purchase excessive amounts of gasoline to prepare.

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