As Hurricane Ike slammed into Texas, gas prices jumped, but the price of oil slid as the storm proved less damaging to oil production facilities than anticipated.
Gas station employees got on their ladders and adjusted the price of gas upwards six cents a gallon over the weekend, reversing a downward trend that's eased up on drivers' wallets at the tail end of the summer. The volatility and uncertainty caused by Ike meant that some prices varied by as much as more than a dollar at pumps within walking distance of each other in some states.
“We’re on the other side of the looking glass. I just passed three gas stations with prices that ran from about $3.50 to close to $5 within walking distance,” Claire Raines told MSNBC from near Knoxville, TN.
While the disparity in pump prices may be frustrating to some consumers, they're the tarnish on the silver lining that was the lack of damage produced by Hurricane Ike. The less-than-anticipated damage to Gulf Coast oil production facilities caused oil to dip below $97 a barrel Monday morning. Gas prices at the pump should follow suit and retreat from their pre-storm peaks, although power outages that shut down production facilities could have a lingering effect.