On Tuesday, gas prices in Columbia averaged $2.17. By Thursday, that average had jumped to $2.34, a 17-cent increase.
The reason, consumers have been told, is the shutdown of refineries — as many as 10 — across Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
The spike, which saw prices as high as $2.49 in Columbia on Thursday afternoon, comes as people make plans to travel for the Labor Day weekend.
“It’s outrageous,” said Brandi Higgins, cashier at the Break Time convenience store at Stadium and Old Highway 63. “People are just really asking why they’re up so high.”
Across the rest of the nation, the average price of gas on Thursday was $2.45, up 10 cents from the week before. The highest prices were in California, Hawaii and Alaska where prices were nearly $3.