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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – As Tropical Storm Gordon heads toward making landfall as a hurricane late Tuesday on the northern Gulf Coast, it also threatens to affect motorists’ pocketbooks.

The auto club AAA said Gordon could lead to quick increases in gasoline prices if refineries are damaged or forced to go offline. The storm is expected to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall somewhere between Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans.

Last year, when Hurricane Harvey caused refinery outages as it made landfall in Texas, gas prices spiked nearly 50 cents in two weeks due to a decrease in production.

AAA spokesman W. D. Williams said prices could become volatile, as the Gulf of Mexico is home to nearly half of America’s gas-refining capacity.

“We’re going to take a ‘wait and see’ approach,” Williams said. “Fuel prices are up on the stock market today. We haven’t seen fuel prices increase because of this, but they certainly have the potential to do so.”

Even without the impacts of Gordon, fuel prices are up 17 cents a gallon from a year ago. Gas in Florida currently averages $2.80 per gallon.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report


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