Elisia Alonso -
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) -- West Michigan will feel the economic impact of Harvey when gas prices increase this week.
Three large oil refineries in Houston were shut down as a result of the powerful storm that battered Texas' Gulf Coast. Without those refineries producing oil and with demand remaining the same, natural inflation occurs.
"What we are looking at and why gas prices are going up has to do with the delicate balance of supply and demand," Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com, told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone Sunday. "When you start to tip that balance, you start to see gas prices go up. Especially when it's an unexpected tip in balance, such as a hurricane. "
The jump is expected to happen between Monday and Wednesday. DeHaan estimates gas prices in Grand Rapids will range from $2.65 to $2.69 per gallon -- the highest since April.
"I'm seeing some stations in Grand Rapids as low as $2.34. I would find one of those stations that's under $2.40, maybe under $2.45 and probably fill up," DeHaan advised Sunday. "I think come Tuesday, maybe Monday even, prices could shoot up to somewhere around $2.60 a gallon."
DeHaan expects gas prices to decrease after Labor Day, when fewer travelers will be on the road.-----Inside woodtv.com: Gas prices near you
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