Virginia faces higher prices at the pump after Harvey's impact on refineries

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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ7) It's unclear what damage Hurricane Harvey did to oil refineries, but travel and marketing experts predict it could increase gas prices for us soon.

AAA estimates Virginia will be among the states with the highest increase for a gallon. The price at the pump could jump as much as 25 cents within the next 10 days.

Some people on social media have told us they've already seen the cost for a gallon go up 10 cents just overnight.

"If you're a re-seller like a convenience store or a gasoline station, you're looking at that and thinking, I don't know if I'll get my regular delivery," said Carol Bienstock, a marketing professor at Radford University.

Confusion and some disbelief at gas stations now as re-sellers and consumers look ahead at an uncertain future.

The source is Hurricane Harvey. It closed and may have damaged at least 10 oil refineries in the Houston and Corpus Christi area.

Bienstock explains why it impacts us.

"The supply chain out of that area up to this part of the country and even above us in the Northeast, that's being disrupted also. The situation down there is very difficult and no body is really coming out of there. So it's kind of a double whammy," Bienstock said.

The impact on the refineries is unknown. If it's extensive, AAA predicts that increase could go higher than 25 cents.

Gas prices are already climbing. The national average for a gallon is $2.40 and expected to reach $2.50. The last time the national average reached that price was in August 2015.

"Luckily the gas prices are pretty low so we're kind of in luck with that," Bienstock said.

Wednesday the average for a gallon of gas in Virginia is $2.19.

Some Texas refineries could be working again as early as the end of this week.

Experts estimate we could see another small increase in gas prices over this weekend because of the Labor Day holiday.