Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  New Orleans may be taking a direct hit from Isaac, but anybody who drives will be feeling the pain as a result of the storm.

Illinois Petroleum Council executive director Dave Sykuta says increases at the pump are inevitable.

In fact we’ve already seen those in the St. Louis area, but more on that shortly.

Sykuta says as for how high gas prices will rise, much depends on changes made after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast starting seven years ago today.

“My understanding is that a lot of the infrastructure down there was strengthened when it was rebuilt after 2005,” he tells KMOX News. “So we’ll see.”

He says it’s clear, however, that lessons we’re learned in the wake of Katrina.

“We are much better prepared, particularly in the midwest, to meet that kind of a challenge because we now get a large amount of our crude oil from Canada rather than the Gulf,” Sykuta explains.

As Tuesday dawned the average price for regular unleaded fuel in St. Louis was $3.64 a gallon, according to the AAA’s price-tracking website.

As of Wednesday morning, that average is now $3.77…a full 23-cents per gallon higher than just one week ago.


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