By LISA M. REED
IRON MOUNTAIN - The 20-some cent increase in gasoline prices across the Midwest since Monday is from the current weather conditions, specifically flooding, officials say.
Lisa M. Reed/Daily News Photo
Billy Zoeller of Waucedah Township pumps gas on Tuesday. Gasoline prices increased more than 20 cents per gallon in the Midwestern states since Monday due to flooding in the Chicago area.
Nancy Cain of AAA said flooding last week in the Chicago area negatively impacted the pipeline.
"Heavy rains impacted the Midwest and Great Lakes region," she said.
Much of the price increase is related to power issues with pipelines and refineries after torrential rains and thunderstorms, reports Gasbuddy.com.
Cain said Michigan gas prices are up 24 cents while Ohio and Indiana gas prices increased 28 cents.
While the Midwestern states have seen gasoline prices increase from $3.50 a gallon on Monday to as high as $3.79 on Tuesday, Cain said the rest of the country is enjoying a decline in gasoline prices.
The current U.S average is $3.50 per gallon, while the average in Chicago is $4.16 a gallon.
Cain added it's unfortunate that the increase in gasoline is occurring at the same time as stations are switching from winter to summer blends, which traditionally causes price increases.
"Hopefully this is a temporary thing," she said. "Prices should start moderating later this week."
The average price for crude oil Tuesday was $88 a barrel.
"With crude oil holding steady, there is less demand for gas," Cain said.
Motorists should plan to pay extra for gasoline when planning trips, and if they see a good price, they should fill up.
The Chicago area last week Thursday saw heaving rains and flooding, which shut down expressways, delayed trains, canceled flights and flooded basements. Schools were even closed.
The Weather Channel reported on Tuesday that the Illinois and Mississippi rivers are rising after rain in much of the region last week.
Elsewhere in the Midwest, the rain-swollen Grand River has driven hundreds of people from their home in Grand Rapids, Mich.
On the other side of the state in Saginaw County, flooding along the Saginaw River has left homes, businesses and part of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge under water.
Lisa M. Reed's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.