Hurricane Ida could raise Michigan gas prices 10-20 cents, analysts say

Hurricane Ida might impact Michigan, but not in the way residents are expecting.

While the state will manage to avoid much of the rain and severe weather, it likely won't escape the impending rise in gas prices.

Oil refineries in the deep south have been disrupted by power outages due to Hurricane Ida - and that means a disruption to production.

Michigan could see a 10-20 cent increase in the price of a gallon of gas in the next few days. 

Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama all play a role in the U.S.'s oil trade. And when refining, production, or pipeline access are disrupted, it means trouble for drivers.

"In order to get personnel back to these launching areas, the roads need to be cleared of trees and downed powerlines. So this process is going to take several days to just get staff out there to assess the damage," said Andy Lipow, an energy analyst with oil associates.

The timing could create complications for Labor Day travelers already dreading seeing high prices at the pump. Drivers won't see anything go back down until production ramps back up at the refineries - which can't start until the states impacted by the hurricane can get their power back on.

According to data compiled by GasBuddy, the average gas price across the nation fell for a third straight week this week, leaving it unchanged from a month ago.

That trend is expected to end, however, as refinery shutdowns begin to add up in one of the most oil-rich regions in the country. Refineries in the south account for 45% of the nation's capacity. But as a precaution ahead of the hurricane, four out of nine refineries and 90% of the rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were shut down prior to the storm. 

But AAA said the good news for consumers is the industry traders are taking a wait-and-see approach, meaning alarm bells aren't sounding just yet. 

The average price for a gallon of gas is $3.13 in Michigan.