DETROIT (WWJ) – Don’t be surprised if you see a spike in gas prices soon. The likelihood of East Coast refineries closing ahead of Hurricane Irene is already pushing up gasoline prices. Friday morning, the average price of gas in Metro Detroit was around $3.80 per gallon.

As in the past with pending natural disasters, refineries take a precautionary approach by shutting down. Several east coast refineries are likely to close in advance of Hurricane Irene.

Ben Brockwell at the Oil Price Information Service said even if the storm eventually misses the refineries, they can’t take chances. It takes several days for a refinery to start operations after a shut down and it could take up to a month to resume operations.

WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas was checking pump prices in the Detroit area when she ran into Gina Cuttler of Ferndale. Cuttler said she was petrified by the price of petroleum after seeing how much it cost to fill up her mini van.

“You know, I really thought it was $3.40 or $3.50 up here but I don’t know where I’ve been living, it’s $3.85. It’s terrible, but what can we do? There’s nothing. Either you stay home or get a horse and buggy. That’s about it.”

John Douglas of Royal Oak is leaving his gas-guzzling SUV in the garage and breaking out his VW Beetle because of the price jump.

“I’m down to $240 a month in gas, I was paying $600.”

But while some may be caught off guard by the pumped up price of fuel, one motorist knew it was coming.

“It happened only a handful of years ago with Katrina, so I expected it.”

Gas Futures rose on Thursday by two percent. Shut downs of more than a few days would put serious pressure on fuel supplies and prices.

Three years ago, pump prices jumped 21 cents a gallon in just eight days as Hurricane Ike swept through the Gulf of Mexico.

Meantime, some southern and east coast bound flights from Detroit Metro Airport have been cancelled this weekend. (Read More Here)

– Get the latest news on Hurricane Irene from CBS News at this link

Related: Get To Know Your Hurricane Terms

Comments (3)
  1. Bob says:

    Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research — these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

    But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs — balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage — balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration. -Dwight D Eisenhower. The words of the past are seldom heard, much less followed or else we would not be where we are today.

  2. tarateacher35 says:

    I’m so glad I protected my gas prices in April on The reimbursements have been up to $85 per month. I can pay a bill with what I’m saving!!

  3. Jim Horak says:

    Are gas prices really going down? Yeah, right! I’ll believe that when it hits MY pump! All I know is that I am tired of paying huge gas prices. I found a new type of Auto Club. I use their membership gas card by sticking it into gas pump and it gives me 10% right back to my account for the gas purchase. It is really no hassle, a no brainer. With money we save, we enjoy more trips, movies and family fun stuff. You can check them out at , the more that are doing this the more they can discount – its kinda like Cosco or Sam’s Club in that way.

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