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Gas prices may jump thanks to Hurricane Laura

More than a half-dozen refineries have already closed, according to AAA.

ATLANTA — Gas prices may spike a bit higher as Hurricane Laura approaches the Gulf Coast.

According to AAA - Auto Club South, more than a half-dozen refineries in the Gulf Coast region have experienced closures since forecasters indicate that Hurricane Laura will be much stronger than originally anticipated when it makes landfall this week.

"The potential for a price hike is always there when a hurricane threatens the Gulf Coast refinery region," said AAA spokesperson Montrae Waiters. "Incremental increases are possible if the storm causes damage resulting in long-term impacts to oil rigs/refineries or the fuel supply chain as a whole."

GasBuddy announced on Tuesday that effective immediately, the fuel availability tracker in their app is being made available for motorists in Louisiana and Texas ahead of Laura's arrival. The tracker helps motorists in affected areas find fuel in the event stations run out.

When the feature is activated for an area, the free, crowd-sourced GasBuddy app can differentiate between stations that have no gasoline, no diesel or no power so that motorists can try other stations.

The app is available for download for iOS and Android mobile devices. The fuel availability tracker is also available online. 

The National Hurricane Center expects Hurricane Laura to make landfall near the Louisiana-Texas border late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning as a major category 3 storm with winds in excess of 115 mph.

The last major hurricane to strike the Gulf Coast region was Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas as a category 4 storm in 2017.