Hurricane Harvey leads to higher gas prices in Lima region, across U.S.

By John Bush -

LIMA — Gas prices in the region saw an average increase of more than a dime since last week, reflecting a national trend that resulted from the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

In a nine-county area, gas prices rose 10.4 cents per gallon from the prior week’s average. The most significant jump came in Allen and Hancock counties, which experienced a 19 cent climb. Putnam County saw the second-largest increase, with the average gas price rising 17 cents. Prices in Shelby County surged 15 cents, making it one of four counties to experience a double-digit spike.

The only county that did not see an increase in prices was Van Wert, which saw its average price stay at $2.19 per gallon. Prices in the remaining four counties in the area climbed between 2 and 9 cents, with Mercer County on the low side and Logan County on the high side.

The lowest average price in the region was $2.18 in Auglaize County, followed by Van Wert ($2.19), Hardin ($2.20), Shelby and Mercer ($2.27), Allen ($2.29), Hancock ($2.32), Putnam ($2.33) and Logan ($2.35) counties.

In Allen County, gas prices were 13 cents higher than last month’s average of $2.16, and were up 11 cents from last year’s average of $2.18.

The average price in Ohio was $2.30 early Monday, making it the 20th least-expensive state in the country for gas. Ohio’s prices rose 7.4 cents per gallon in the past week. This compares with the national average, which increased 3.9 cents in the last week to $2.36.

“Gas prices are up in many places and motorists should be gearing up for more in the coming weeks, thanks to Hurricane Harvey inundating significant refineries along the Texas coastline, leading to closures and tilting the delicate balance of supply and demand,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for “Prices will likely rise nearly countrywide heading into Labor Day, from rural towns in the Rockies to major cities in the Midwest and West Coast — nearly everyone will feel a bit of a pinch at the pump from Harvey.”

DeHaan added that the impact could last for several weeks or longer, depending on how long it takes Texas refiners to return to normal operations. In addition, the situation could worsen if more shutdowns or outages happen in the coming week as Harvey continues to drop feet of rain on already flooded Texas.

By John Bush

Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @Bush_Lima.

Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @Bush_Lima.

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