High demand driven by a flood of a different kind in the Northwest - hundreds of thousands flowing into the region to view the August 21 eclipse along or near its line of totality - put pressure on prices through the middle of the month and into this week. Prices were relatively low before the summer, and in May, crude oil prices dropped to their lowest levels since November, CNBC reported.
With supplies under pressure, the national average is already up almost 8 cents a gallon over the past week, according to GasBuddy's live ticking average. The price jumped about 2 ½ cents overnight.
According to Barclays bank on Tuesday "around 2-3 million barrels per day of refining capacity is offline or in the process of shutting down" due to Harvey.More news: Nigeria vs Cameroon: Rohr happy to have "full house"
The good news is prices are not expected to increase more than 25 cents, and are not expected to reach as high as during Hurricane Katrina.
The recovery from Harvey will mimic the storm's path from west to east. Flint Hill Resources' refinery in Corpus Christi, where Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, could begin to restart - a process that takes days - as early as Wednesday.
In the Spokane metro area, a gallon of regular cost an average of $2.83, up 13 cents from a month ago. The last time prices were that high for Labor Day was September 2015.More news: Arsenal reject £50m Manchester City bid for Alexis Sanchez
"What does that mean for the average driver?"
Prices have been fairly stable since August 9, when they jumped to $1.29 from $1.22 the day before.
One of the easiest ways you can pay less for gas is to avoid the "convenience" trap.More news: Did Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church Get Flooded?
Jody Palmer of Sacramento is a bit more sympathetic - at least when it comes to the hurricane victims. "The impact will be fairly dramatic but also fairly quick". Areas in California and their current gas price climate: Stockton- $2.85/g, up 2.6 cents per gallon from last week's $2.83/g. That's 11 cents below the national average of $2.37. The last time the average reached $2.50 was August 28, 2015. "These behaviors could lead to gas shortages across the Carolinas". The app and website have the most accurate and real-time fuel prices at over 140,000 unique stations in the United States, Canada, and Australia and is the most comprehensive money-saving companion while on the road.