Harvey's impact in Southern New England might be at the pump

AAA Northeast says if Hurricane Harvey cripples oil production in Texas, the result could be higher gasoline prices in Southern New England. (WJAR)

As Hurricane Harvey bears down on Texas, residents of Southern New England may feel its effects at the pump.

Five oil refineries in the Corpus Christi area have already shut down, causing gasoline prices in East Texas to rise. Those refineries are only responsible for about 4 percent of the nation's fuel, but if more lose power or have to shut down for other reasons, prices everywhere may be affected.

"Tankers delivering oil in the Gulf of Mexico have also been halted in an abundance of caution," said Diana Dias of AAA Northeast.

No oil deliveries means the supply goes down while demand remains constant. In Southern New England, however, AAA representatives said the effect should be minimal.

"We only anticipate an increase of a penny or two," said Dias. "We would say in an abundance of caution, if you want to fill your tank tonight before the weekend."

Even though Harvey is not going to threaten the New England region, the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency says it is always prepared.

"We've done a number of preparedness activities over the course of the months," said director Peter Gaynor. "Today, I was with the governor's staff going over all the hurricane procedures and decision-making to make sure everyone's refreshed. We've done a hurricane exercise with all our partners in Rhode Island. We built a business alliance for resiliency so businesses can be part of our decision-making process."

If you need to check gasoline prices in your area, there are a number of apps like Gas Buddy to help you out. AAA has one too.

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