Chattanooga gas prices jumped last week by the steepest weekly rise so far this year due to the storm-related closure of Gulf Coast refineries and anticipated demand from the Labor Day holiday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 local service stations released Monday.
But going into the final weekend of the summer, prices at the pump are still 18 cents a gallon below a year ago and Chattanooga fuel prices remain 27 cents a gallon below the U.S. average.
GasBuddy said the average price of a gallon of regular gas in Chattanooga rose 14.1 cents a gallon in the past week to $1.95 per gallon — the highest price since early March.
"Gas prices have reached their highest post-coronavirus level as Hurricane Laura caused Gulf Coast refineries to shut, limiting production as gasoline demand edged higher," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "While some may see prices tick higher over the next few days, more decreases are coming to gas prices once Labor Day is over as demand will likely move lower. In addition, the switch back to cheaper winter gasoline will happen in a few weeks, giving more potential downward momentum for prices."
According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest gas in Chattanooga Monday was at the Sam's Club on Lee Highway, where regular gas sold for $1.67 per gallon.
The national average price of gasoline has risen 3.5 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.22 per gallon on Monday.
A separate gas survey of Tennessee service stations by AAA released Saturday showed the average price of regular gas across the state on Saturday was $1.91 per gallon.
"Gasoline stocks hit their lowest level since the pandemic began and demand dipped on the week, down to 8.6 million barrels a day," said Megan Cooper, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group. "These decreases typically lead to cheaper pump prices, but this summer we've seen atypical gas price trends."