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Gas prices rise as Isaac heads to coast
Any damage to Gulf rigs and refineries could continue price hike
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Isaac could dump up to 3 inches of rain on Georgia

While Tropical Storm Isaac may not be headed directly toward Georgia, the state may still receive some rain and storms from its rain bands.

According to Robert Garcia, a forecaster with National Weather Service in Peachtree City, the main weather North Georgia will probably see from Isaac is lots of rain.

“We’re expecting to see up to one to three inches of rain in the area,” he said.

Rain bands from the tropical storm were already in South and Central Georgia on Monday afternoon.

Garcia said rain in the metro Atlanta area should have started around midnight Monday and could continue for the next few days. The chances of rain don’t decrease until the weekend.

Also, along with the bands from tropical storms, comes the risk of isolated tornadoes.

“Right now we’re not expecting a widespread event,” Garcia said of the risk of tornadoes in North Georgia, “We want folks to be aware that what could be the biggest threat for us is heavy rain.”

The National Weather Service will continue to monitor the tropical storm and the chances of rain and storms.

“It’s a pretty large storm, and it’s something we’re going to have to watch over the next few days,” Garcia said.

He stressed the importance of people staying tuned to the National Weather Service and local media for updates and changes to the forecast. He also suggested looking into getting a weather radio or smartphone app with weather alerts for any warnings or watches that may occur.

Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to strengthen before landfall. You can check the National Hurricane Center’s website with updated forecasts and tracks for Isaac.

Megan Gill

Visit GasBuddy to find the best pump price in Gainesville.

The threat of Tropical Storm Isaac to the Gulf Coast has caused an increase in the price of gas at the pump.

“The concern about the storm and what it will deliver has already pushed up wholesale gas prices,” GasBuddy Senior Petroleum Analyst Gregg Laskoski said.

He said wholesale prices are what the retailers pay to purchase gas. This higher rate affects the price motorists pay.

According to a news release from AAA, “The precautionary shutdowns alone are said to have caused a loss of two to three million barrels in Gulf oil production.”

The result has been an increase in the gas prices in some states in the South. According to AAA, there was a 3-cent increase in the price for the national average for regular gas, which was $3.75. Georgia’s gas price went up about 6 cents to an average of $3.70.

Laskoski said the potential for further increases is uncertain as it is not known what kind of damage Tropical Storm Isaac will cause to oil refineries and production in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We really don’t know yet how expensive this storm is going to be,” Laskoski said.

He said electrical outages caused by the storm can also cause gas prices to go up because even if the supply is there, drivers won’t be able to pump it.

The severity of the damage to the oil rigs and refineries will end up determining if gas prices increase or decrease.

“If it has an adverse affect on the oil refineries in the gulf, you’re going to see higher prices at the pump. No question about it, “ Laskoski said.

Besides Tropical Storm Isaac, if other world events occur, such as wars in the Middle East that cause the price of crude oil to go up, Laskoski said that could also cause an increase in gas prices.

“If crude oil prices go up, we could see gas prices go up ...” he said.

Laskoski said motorists still may see an increase in gas prices over the Labor Day weekend. It is unclear just exactly when gas prices may go down.

“The good news is generally gas spikes are not sustainable,” Laskoski said. “After two weeks, it will probably go down.”

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