AAA: Labor Day Gas Prices Highest In Seven Years

Averages jump as refineries recover from Hurricane Ida


Daytona Beach, FL - Travelers found the most expensive Labor Day gas prices in seven years over the holiday weekend as refineries continue to bounce back from the effects of Hurricane Ida.

Analysis from AAA says prices are now averaging $3.02 per gallon in Florida after increasing by a total of 8 cents. That's 83 cents more than last year's holiday, and 58 cents more than what drivers paid during the 2019 holiday weekend.

This came after Hurricane Ida's impact on the Gulf Coast left nine refineries offline, resulting in an outage of about 13 percent of total U.S. refining capacity. 

A report from the US Department of Energy (DOE) says four out of the nine total refineries have begun the process of restarting. Three of these plants are located in Baton Route, the other near New Orleans. Officials say it could take several days for those refineries to produce at full rates. 

Meanwhile, five refineries near New Orleans remain shut due to issues including power outages. These plants account for 6 percent of total U.S. refining capacity.

"News that refineries are working to restore operations is a positive sign for motorists," said Mark Jenkins, spokesperson for AAA. "As refineries get back up and running, prices should begin to slide lower; especially now that the summer driving season has come to a close."

Locally, drivers are seeing a slight increase in gas price averages around both counties. In Volusia County drivers are paying, on average, around $2.99 per gallon of regular unleaded gas. That's three cents more than last week's average of $2.96. In Flagler, drivers are paying closer to $2.98 on average. Both counties remain under the state's average.

As for the most expensive average in the state, AAA says that it can be found in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton area with $3.16 per gallon. The lowest average can be found in Punta Gorda at $2.96, which is just 2 cents lower than Flagler's average.

The national average is around $3.19 a gallon.


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