In her tempestuous wake the hurricane that wasn’t (Tropical Storm Irene’s top wind speed was 80 mph) caused already high gas prices to jump and train service to bump.
Yet though roads reopened rather quickly after the storm and trains are more or less back on track, drivers are still paying the price—the gas price, that is. As people across the region try to squeeze in one last summer trip, (or escape yet another meal cobbled together with fresh and canned food) the price of gas is a late summer spoiler.
According to Gas Buddy, as of Aug. 31 Connecticut’s average gas price was $3.896. Hartford has an average gas price of $3.850, Waterbury was at $3.850, New Haven was $3.854 and Bridgeport was $3.946.
The price has much to do with the fact that East Coast refineries closed in anticipation of the storm. The closure impacted about 10 percent of the nation’s refining capacity, which is located in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware.
However, the price also is tied in with the “speculation” that the storm would seriously damage the refineries. That didn’t happen and so, according to AAA, it’s unlikely the storm will have a long-term ripple effect.
That was certainly the case for the .
“We were able to keep the price steady, keep the same prices,” said Gus, an assistant manager for Petro Mart. “We are getting some gas deliveries but just enough for day. We actually have to shut down for two, three hours every day to conserve.”
Gas at the Petro Mart is $3.98 a gallon if customers pay in cash, $4.10 if they use a credit card
Attorney General George Jepsen warned gas station owners not to price gouge. Also Dept. Consumer Protection advises people to conserve gas since many remain without power.
As for trains commuters wrestled with disrupted service for a few days.
Metro North suspended service last Saturday, nearly 24 hours before Irene showed up. New Canaan reopened Tuesday. It was suspended longer because of cleanup and repairs, according to the MTA.
“We take the train for granted so much it’s easy to assume it always runs in any conditions. We know the damage to our own homes and neighborhoods, so multiply that over hundreds of miles of tracks and wires and you can appreciate the tremendous work they had to do restoring service,” said .
There was no busing available on the branch lines. However, that was of little consequence to Cameron who gave the agency high praise.
“I think MNR did a tremendous job under extraordinary conditions,” Cameron said. “They did exactly the right thing in shutting down service on Saturday and not resuming until all was safe.”