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The rumors started flying Friday morning - gas prices would jump more than $1.30 a gallon and reach $5 by the end of the day. Motorists started filling up.
"We did have a little bit of a rush," said East Broadway Minit Mart Manager Sherrie Estes. "We were hearing it would be $4.50 to $5 a gallon."
Prices jumped, but not that high. Instead, the price of a gallon of gas increased about 30 cents to $3.98 for regular unleaded at most stations. The statewide average was $4.02 on Monday.
Still at $3.98 as of Tuesday, with a few selling at $3.99, the gas prices are not a record high, according to Roger Boyd, director of public affairs for AAA Kentucky. Boyd said the record price for the state is $4.09, which was set on July 10.
Hurricane Ike forced prices upward. Even though the storm didn't hit the Gulf of Mexico until Saturday, at least eight refineries had shut down two days in advance of the storm, while one refinery remained out of operation due to Hurricane Gustav the week before, according to the Department of Energy.
And with a production loss of about 2.5 million barrels a day, the cost of refined product rose.
"It was the opposite of history," Boyd said. "What we actually saw was an increase in wholesale rack rate prices. The cost of fuel already produced went up 20 to 30 cents."
Todd White of White Oil said fuel distributors saw about a 30-cent increase from suppliers between Thursday and Friday.
"All of the oil companies were caught off guard with the refineries going off line as fast as they did."
White said distributors didn't raise prices, suppliers did.
"We have a cost increase and we pass that along," White said. "I'm just glad that we didn't see Katrina-type increases."
Nationally, gas prices leaped 57 cents in the wake of Katrina.
Higher pump costs aren't the only price jump consumers are contending with. Food prices are up as well, and have been for some time.
A gallon of milk was $4.29 at Minit Mart on Monday, that's 30 cents higher than two months ago, Estes said.
"Anything that we order has a fuel surcharge," Estes said. "It affects everything in the store. Being a customer myself, I complain too."
Wal-Mart Manager Rob Wilkins said fuel prices have impacted everything in his store.
"There's been an increase across the board," Wilkins said. "A gallon of milk has increased 30 to 40 cents in the last couple of months."
Houchens Manager Herby Harrell said a gallon of milk in his store was $4.19 on Monday. He said it was $2.99 at this time last year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. price of a gallon of milk rose 67 cents between January 2006 and January 2008. During the same period, the cost of flour rose 9 cents per pound, ground beef rose 5 cents a pound, bread rose 23 cents a pound and a dozen eggs rose 73 cents.
Harrell said he didn't know what sort of impact last week's fuel price jump would have on groceries or whether prices could drop soon.
As far as pump prices, the refinery situation isn't as bleak as some feared. In all, 13 refineries in Texas are shut down because of Hurricane Ike.
While there have been some reports of gas rationing, that isn't likely to be a problem here, White said.
"I wouldn't worry too much about that yet. We're hoping for a quick remedy for this situation."
While distributors are allocated a certain amount of fuel that they can buy, he doubts such restrictions would ever reach retailers.
While rationing isn't a concern, Boyd said, AAA continues to encourage fuel conservation. Those who have more than one vehicle should drive the most fuel-efficient one. Driving at moderate, consistent speeds and combining trips to reduce mileage will also have an impact, Boyd said.
Relief could come sooner rather than later, Boyd said.
"So far, all the news has been really good," Boyd said. "There are no reports of major damage [at the refineries]. Everything could be up and running within seven to 10 days."