RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - As of this week, you can expect to pay more than three dollars for a gallon of gas in Reno, just about wherever you go. The higher prices caught Jim Zimmerman off guard as he stopped to fill up at a gas station on Kietzke Lane.
"I didn't really pay attention until I pulled in here," says Zimmerman. "Little bit of a sticker shock. I only did a half a tank and it was still three dollars more than I paid a couple of weeks ago."
AAA says a big reason is Hurricane Harvey. The storm knocked several Gulf Coast refineries off line and even though Northern Nevada gets its gas from refineries in California, AAA says all drivers are affected.
"We lost 25 to 30 percent of the U.S. refinery capacity so that's going to have some impact in the global marketplace in terms of the price of oil and the price of gasoline for customers," says Mike Blasky, a spokesperson for AAA Nevada.
Blasky says Labor Day weekend also contributed to the hike in prices over the last week.
"We've been seeing record travel demands all year and Labor Day was no different," says Blasky. "Prices were rising anyway to reflect the demand for gas as more people are out spending money."
Blasky says analysts expect the market to stabilize in the near future.
"We should probably see prices drop down to more relative norms I would say in the next few weeks as we find out more about the damage to the refineries in the Gulf Coast. The market can kind of reorganize itself."
"I'll believe it when I see it," says Sarah Horsman, a Reno driver who stopped for gas at a Quikmart on Mill Street. "We have to get gas anyway so it's a necessary evil sometimes when prices go up and down."
"When we start descending, I'll feel a lot better," says Zimmerman. "I'd like to get back to $2.20. I'd really love to see that again."