State sends help to Irma; Tulsa gasoline prices are affected

After sending assistance to South Texas and Louisiana, Oklahomans shifted their concern to Florida and other parts of the Southeast affected by Hurricane Irma.

Gov. Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) sent a 12-person operations support team to Florida to assist in the Hurricane Irma response effort.

The team includes personnel from OEM, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Grand River Dam Authority, Craig County, Mayes County, the City of Broken Arrow, the City of Oklahoma City, and the City of Tulsa. The Oklahoma delegation will help support the Florida State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.

The team is deployed in response to an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request from the Florida Division of Emergency Management. OEM continues to monitor additional requests from the affected areas. Further support may be deployed if needed.

“Oklahoma is a generous and giving state and we are happy to provide whatever support and resources we can to assist our friends in Florida as they respond to and recover from the effects of Hurricane Irma,” said Fallin.

OEM Director Albert Ashwood said, “We are committed to helping with any resources we have available as Florida deals with the effects of Hurricane Irma.”

Hurricane Harvey in Texas has affected gasoline prices in Tulsa. Average retail gasoline prices in Tulsa fell slightly by 0.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.40/g on Monday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 321 gas outlets in Tulsa. This compares with the national average that has increased 1.8 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.65/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Tulsa during the past week, prices were 46.8 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 31.7 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 30.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 48.1 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

“Harvey may be long gone, but his wrath continued to drive gasoline prices up in much of the country in the last week. However, the effects are finally starting to weaken as refineries return to production and fuel begins to flow once again from many Houston refineries,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “The national average gasoline price appears to have peaked last week Thursday at $2.67 per gallon and is beginning to slowly decline for the time being. Once again, motorists shouldn’t expect to see any impact from Irma on gasoline prices due to the path being a considerable distance from sensitive areas of the energy sector.

“With summer driving season now over, motorists stand to benefit from falling demand, which will help refineries bring gasoline inventories back to normal and thus gas prices, but as many Americans are now acutely aware, the impact on gas prices can outlive a storm, especially one like Harvey.”

Areas near Tulsa and their current gas price climate:

Oklahoma City- $2.21/gallon, down 7.3 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.28/gallon

Wichita- $2.39/gallon, down 5.9 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.45/gallon

Oklahoma- $2.36/gallon, down 0.7 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.36/gallon.

Flooding in Harvey’s aftermath destroyed thousands of vehicles in South Texas.

Texans have turned in more than 100,000 storm-related claims on their car- and truck-insurance policies and some estimates say that figure will climb as high as 500,000.

The final damage estimate for Harvey could exceed $100 billion. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said damage could reach $150 billion to $180 billion.