Hurricane Isaac Expected to Increase Gas Prices

Lightning looks to be striking at the gas pump with many stations around central Arkansas increasing prices by 20 cents on Tuesday.

Nearly 80% of refineries on the gulf have been completely shut down as severe weather covers the area. This is an action experts anticipate will ignite those digital numbers at the gas station.

With Hurricane Isaac making landfall Tuesday, Arkansans are feeling the storm on their bank accounts.

"Well I've seen in two weeks its jumped 20 cents," said Little Rock resident Gene Ground. "Overnight 10 cents, so it hurts it's painful."

Twenty-two percent of our gas sources come from gulf production. However, it's still unclear how that process will be affected overnight, but that's where speculation plays a large part.

"Right now we're just in this anticipation mode where we're concerned with what might happen," said Michael Pakko with the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.

"Of course that puts pressure on demand right away. People are expecting that there might be gasoline shortages next week. It might not be a bad idea to go out and fill your tank now."

We even found a consumer in the Capital City who knows the routine this time of the year after living in Florida.

"Every time there was a hurricane coming or a tropical storm out there then we would see the gas hike up," said Juan Jenkins, who now lives in Little Rock.

Tie in an oncoming Labor Day weekend with an anticipated shortage in fuel and that's where we could see prices change every day.

"People want to travel, they want to see family and be festive," Jenkins added.

"You know no one wants to pay 10 to 20 cents more per gallon just because there's a storm coming."

A major refinery explosion in Venezuela already put a strain on the U.S. supply of oil, before Hurricane Isaac is expected to continue problems.

Arkansas average for a gallon of gas is almost 20 cents below a national average of $3.75 for regular unleaded. The national average has increased by nearly 30 cents in just the last month.