Daytona Beach, FL - Gas prices throughout the Sunshine State shot up last week as an arctic blast wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast refinery region, causing a surge in prices according to AAA.
Throughout much of the deep freeze, power outages knocked gasoline refineries in Texas and neighboring states offline, interfering with fuel shipments headed out of the area. Since most of Florida's gasoline comes from the Gulf Coast states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, an interruption to the supply line began to directly impact price.
Florida, however, is not alone in this situation as this region accounts for more than 45 percent of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity, according to AAA.
"This pump price hike is similar to what you'd expect if a hurricane struck the gulf coast region," said Mark Jenkins, spokesperson for AAA. "Just like the aftermath of a hurricane, workers are working to return to normal operations. Any reports of extended downtime or significant supply impacts could cause another round of rising prices."
AAA also found that while there is no current supply shortage, concerns about reductions in gasoline production caused fuel prices to climb. Crude oil prices also jumped up by nearly 3 percent last week, hitting $61.14 per barrel. As of Monday morning (February 22nd), the state's average landed near $2.64 per gallon (regular unleaded)
In the local area, Volusia County drivers are currently seeing averages hovering around $2.60 per gallon, which is up by 14 cents over last week's averages. Flagler County's average prices aren't far off from Volusia's too, with prices hovering near $2.59.
The highest average price seen in the state was $2.71, which was found in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton area, while Panama City had the lowest averages in Florida with $2.52 per gallon.
The national average sits at $2.63, a cent below Florida's average.