Hurricane Isaac could drive up gas prices in Conn. - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hurricane Isaac could drive up gas prices in Conn.

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ROCKY HILL, CT (WFSB) -

As Hurricane Isaac takes aim at the Gulf Coast, folks here in Connecticut could feel his fury in their wallets.

Isaac has forced the temporary shutdown of many of the country's oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

The shutdown will impact the availability of gasoline across the country, which could drive prices that topped a $4 average here in Connecticut this week even higher.

Experts say we could see as much as a 5- to 10-cent increase by next week, and depending on how much damage Isaac leaves behind, prices could go even higher.

"It's a fair bet to say that we are likely going to pay more for gasoline this Labor Day than any Labor Day we've had in the past," said AAA spokesman Aaron Kupec.

Some residents are wondering why refineries did not prepare better for Hurricane Isaac.

"It almost seems like if they have an excuse to raise prices they have an excuse and it's going to happen," said Corinna Ouellette of Middletown.

Kupec said the path of the hurricane was not clear enough for the rigs to prepare ahead of time.

"I mean you watch the forecast. You hope for the best and you prepare," he said.

Officials do expect, though, that once the refineries are able to start producing again and we approach the end of the summer season that we will see a drop in the price of gasoline. Refineries make cheaper gas for the winter and most will likely reopen in two weeks, depending on the damage caused by storm.

"It's hard, but hopefully it'll go down afterwards," said Andrzej Cieslik of Cromwell.

To check out gas prices in your area, click here.

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