Thanks to Harvey, Berks drivers feeling pain at pump

READING, Pa. - We knew Hurricane Harvey could drive up gas prices in Berks County, but prices are up more than most expected, and they could keep climbing. This is all happening as many hit the road for the Labor Day weekend.

"Normally, the gas at the Turkey Hill I go to is like $2.45 or $2.50. It was $2.66 today," said Shaun Davis as he pumped gas.

Davis said he can usually get from Lancaster to Reading by just throwing a few bucks in his tank, but not Friday.

"I had to stop at Denver, the halfway point," he said. "Literally, the halfway point between here and there, because my gas light had already come on."

AAA said the national average for a gallon of gas Friday was $2.51 for regular. In Reading and surrounding areas, that number is more like $2.69.

That's a huge leap for Berks County, because just Thursday, the average was $2.61 per gallon, and last week, it was $2.47.  That's a 22 cent increase in only a week.

The owner of U.S. Gas on North Fifth Street in Reading said the price might go up and soon.

"I think maybe 10 cents more jumping by tonight or tomorrow," said Pritam Resaiwalia.

He said the reason is beyond his control.

"They're talking about the big storms in Texas," said Resaiwalia. "The refineries are shut off. That's the reason gas prices go up."

AAA said, because of numerous refinery shutdowns and tightened access to supply levels on the Gulf Coast, gas prices are spiking around the country.

Davis wasn't quite prepared for that.

"They're going to keep going up then," he said. "The prices are going to keep going up. Why'd you have to give me this bad news?"

It might not all be bad, though. Experts said prices could start to go down in mid- to late-September.

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