Storm Ida May Briefly Enhance The Nationwide Gasoline Value Common : NPR

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Notes will be left on gas pumps to warn motorists of breakdowns in Hollywood, California on May 12, 2021, immediately after the Colonial Pipeline shutdown. Two of its lines were temporarily shut down before Hurricane Ida this weekend. Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images

Notes will be left on gas pumps to warn motorists of breakdowns in Hollywood, California on May 12, 2021, immediately after the Colonial Pipeline shutdown. Two of its lines were temporarily shut down before Hurricane Ida this weekend.

Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana and Mississippi are without power, and in parts of the area, outages could last more than a month.

While the damage is most acute there, motorists in the US could feel some of the effects of the storm in the coming days as they refill their tanks.

Ida has likely taken about 13% of U.S. refining capacity offline, AAA estimates: There were nine oil refineries on its way, and at least four were preemptively shut down.

“By the time power is restored, it is too early to understand the full impact of damage Ida caused to the oil and gas industry, but motorists can expect regional price fluctuations leading to Labor Day weekend,” said AAA spokeswoman Jeanette McGee in a press release. “Typically, a Category 4 storm could mean that refineries are three or more weeks away from normal operations, while offshore production is more likely to resume this week.”

The Colonial Pipeline – which was memorably shut down in May after a ransomware attack – closed two lines running from Houston to Greensboro, NC, before the storm and said it would restore full service after an infrastructure inspection.

“National gas prices, particularly on the southeast and east coasts, will have minimal impact at the pump if the pipeline goes down for hours instead of days,” added AAA.

AAA also expects demand to decline immediately after the storm due to power outages and road closures. Louisiana officials are asking people to avoid unnecessary travel when the recovery effort and damage assessments begin.

This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition Live Blog.