Feeling pain at the gas pump?

Gasoline prices are inching dangerously close to $4 a gallon for mid-grade gas, thanks to the disruption caused by hurricane turned Tropical Storm Isaac and other hurricanes and tropical storms, the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News reported.

The result has been some of the highest gasoline costs of the year at a time when the prices often fall. Harrisburg’s record high gas was $3.99 a gallon in June 2008. On April 12, prices hit $3.97, according to GasBuddy.com.

In Harrisburg, a gallon of mid-grade gas sold on Wednesday for as low as $3.86 at US Gas at 1423 N. Sixth St. and as high as $4.35 a gallon at the Exxon at 770 Eisenhower Boulevard, Swatara Township, according to GasBuddy.

GasBuddy on Wednesday listed Pennsylvania’s average gasoline price as $3.93 a gallon and the national average as $3.86. A gallon of mid-grade gas sells for $4.34 in Hawaii compared to $3.59 in Mississippi.

“Gas prices go up when there’s less supply,” said Jason Toews, co-founder of GasBuddy. “When hurricanes bear down on the Gulf Coast , the refineries shut down. Some 25 percent of the country’s refining capacity is in the Gulf Coast.”

If you think it’s bad here, don’t go to South Plainfield, N.J., where the posted prices were an eye-popping $8.99 a gallon at a Lukoil station on Wednesday (Sept. 12).

More than 50 Lukoil gas stations jacked up prices to protest what they say are unfair pricing practices by Lukoil North America that leave them at a competitive disadvantage.


Toews predicts that gas prices will start to drop within 10 days.

“Harrisburg has been paying a 20 percent per-gallon hurricane premium,” he said. “By December, Harrisburg could be paying $3 to $3.20 a gallon for gas. Relief is in sight.”

This chart shows the steady rise of gas prices for the past three months in the U.S. Chart courtesy of www.gasbuddy.com.