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Drivers in Berks County also feeling the pinch

By Kimberly Davidow, Reporter
Published On: Aug 28 2012 03:53:16 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 28 2012 05:54:13 PM CDT

AAA: Prices up more than 7% in August

READING, Pa. -

Along the Gulf Coast, gas prices continue to climb because of Hurricane Isaac. It also appears residents in Berks County are not immune to the price bump.

Now that Tropical Storm Isaac is a hurricane, it has forced many oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico to close. As a result, gas prices are already starting to increase.

Kutztown University economics assistant professor Halim Dalgin said that prior to Isaac, gas prices had been steady for the most part. This spike, he said, is catching many off guard.

"When a supply of something is reduced, then the price is... gets higher."

Weather patterns, Dalgin said, play a significant role when it comes to prices at the pump. These price fluctuations are not anything out of the ordinary, he said, but people are approaching the pump with concerns.

"It disrupts the normal daily routine," said Dalgin.

According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gas nationwide is up more than 7 percent this month. Spokesman Mike Axman said in Pennsylvania, gas prices average $3.76, that is about 15 cents higher than this time last year.

"When prices move up or down, it's typically because they are expecting an impact on either refining capacity or supply in some way," said Axman.

In the worst case scenario, if Hurricane Isaac gains strength, some reports state that the national average could jump by 10 cents. This could impact millions of travelers for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, according to Axman.

"About 33 million people are going to be traveling for the upcoming weekend," said Axman.

Despite the spike in gas prices, drivers Heather Gajewski and Bill Kohl said they are going to enjoy the last days of summer by traveling.

"I have to save more money. No, I don't let it bother anything though," said Gajewski.

"We don't go that far away that's for sure," said Kohl.