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When Hur­ricane Harvey hit in early Sep­tember, people across the country, including those in Hillsdale, felt its effects at the gas pump as the national average increased.

Gas prices have gone up in Hillsdale, fol­lowing hur­ricane season. Crystal Schupbach

With Harvey’s effects in full swing, Michigan’s gas prices rose 10 cents a gallon within a week, while the national average rose 25 cents a gallon, according to sta­tistics posted on Gasbuddy.com.

Mil­lions of barrels with refining capacity were lost due to the storm, and roughly 13 percent of the nation’s oil reserves were affected, according to CNN Money.

Businessinsider.com reported that hun­dreds of com­plaints were filed, accusing Texas gas retailers in affected areas of price-gouging.

“Price-gouging is a neg­ative con­no­tation; they’re just responding to the cost of loss. If you know your sup­plier is going to be hit by the hur­ricane, it adds an element of uncer­tainty, which in turn causes you to raise the price slightly. Once you know it’s going to be hit, then it adds extra cost that makes you spike the price higher,” senior eco­nomics major Brendan Noble said. “There’s no incentive to bring extra goods in if there’s no added price because you’re taking a risk in bringing in goods.”

In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder responded to the crisis by declaring an energy emer­gency on Aug. 31.

“This exec­utive order will help ensure there are no arti­ficial shortages of fuel impacting the state’s res­i­dents or vis­itors,” Snyder said in a statement.

Ibrahim Al Arshi, an employee at the Marathon on West Car­leton Road in Hillsdale said he agreed that gas prices had increased due to the effects of Hur­ricane Harvey.

“When the gas prices went up, I actually asked the salesman from the company if it was from the hur­ri­canes. They said it probably wasn’t, but I def­i­nitely think the first hur­ricane affected the price,” Al Arshi said.

Luckily, prices seem to be going down.

“The prices should fall and not get any higher now. $2.70 was the highest we were told to raise it during those weeks,” Al Arshi said.

Hillsdale res­i­dents, however, said they are still feeling the effect of higher gas prices. “It was in June that the prices started going up. It got worse this Sep­tember though, maybe because of that,” res­ident Kathran Eagle said. “The prices weren’t too bad last year. I might say this was the worst year yet.”