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Hurricane Isaac Impacts New York Gas Prices

Nationally, prices at the pump jumped nine cents; in NY, prices increased two cents.

Isaac was a Category One hurricane when it made landfall on the Gulf Coast, but now as a tropical storm, it continues to wreak havoc in Louisiana and increasing gas prices around the nation.

Outside of New York City, the price of gas increased two cents per gallon from last week.

"Prices had already started going up even before the hurricane hit," Robert Sinclair Jr., spokesman for AAA New York, said today.

The so-called "fear tax" pushed gas prices up, as the concerns of what hurricane-related damages may occur from Isaac soared. A week ago in the New York City area, the average price at the pump was $4.07—and now it is $4.09, Sinclair said. "That's not such a big jump," he added.

But nationally, a week ago the average was $3.71 a gallon. And this morning, it was $3.80, according to AAA.

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"There’s been a nine cent jump in gas in just the last week," Sinclair said, which is more "reflective of the situation."

Looking back at gas prices in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit, prices at the pump spiked 44 cents in just the one week following the Category Five storm, he noted.

The major difference between the two hurricanes is that Isaac is a Category One storm, and there have been no reports of oil companies or refineries being knocked offline due to Isaac.

With Isaac hitting, and weekend just days away, drivers hitting the roads this weekend should expect a slight increase in gas prices.

Typically, Labor Day brings about a decrease in gas prices, according to Sinclair. However, due to Isaac, prices will be up slightly and could continue to rise.

In Westchester, county government officials are warning folks to be cautious and take note at the pump.

"Our department will entertain complaints if people think prices are excessive," John Gaccione, acting director of Consumer Protection, said.

Gaccione said if a customer suspects a problem at the gas station with pricing, or he believes he has been shorted in any way, he can file a complaint online, or call (914) 995-2155.

Gaccione said his department takes complaints year-round.

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