Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Flooding bumped up the gas price rollercoaster

In April fools on lower prices as gas price rollercoaster shoots up, I described the sudden rise in prices to a level that I thought was overpriced considering the price of crude.  It turns out that the local weather is to blame, as the Detroit Free Press reports in Michigan gas prices rise after heavy rains.
Torrential rains last week led to higher gasoline prices in Michigan as flooding knocked out pipeline flow and refineries, but the prices could come down again as the problems are fixed, a petroleum analyst said.

Gasoline prices have risen about 24 cents during the past week to a statewide average of about $3.75 per gallon, but the average is about 9 cents per gallon less than last year at this time, according to AAA Michigan.
“Over the next week, we’ll see prices come back in line with changes in the national average,” said GasBuddy.com’s Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan in Chicago. “A lot of it is just weather related.”
The prices are already starting to drop.  The corner station has matched the rest of its competitors and is selling gas at $3.69, a drop from the $3.75 late last week.

The floods have caused other problems, as described in Major Flooding Continues From Missouri to Michigan from Accuweather republished in OurAmazingPlanet.
Torrential rain, concentrated in two days or less, has led to major flooding in parts of the Midwest. In some areas, flooding will continue beyond the weekend.

While the rain was exiting the region at increasing speed Friday, runoff from small streams into progressively larger rivers will continue the flooding risk through the weekend and beyond in some locations.

Levels in some of the tributaries of the upper Mississippi and Ohio rivers are projected to reach, surpass or remain major flood stage over the next several days.
That includes the Grand River here in Michigan.  Grand Rapids is experiencing record flooding, as described by the Detroit Free Press.
The National Weather Service said the river was 5.6 feet above flood stage Sunday morning at Comstock Park in Kent County’s Plainfield Township, just north of Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell declared a state of emergency as the river drove residents from some low-lying areas. Several flood warnings and advisories are in effect in mid-Michigan.

The weather service said the river at Comstock Park is 0.2 feet below its all-time high and predicted that the level would crest above that record Sunday or today. Farther downstream, the Grand River was 3.8 feet over flood stage in Grand Rapids and 3.3 feet over at Ottawa County’s Robinson Township.

Record-breaking rainfall is to blame.

Meteorologist Evan Webb of the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids said so far in April, there has been 9.8 inches of rain in the Grand Rapids area. The average is about 2.3 inches. Daily totals have smashed records, including on April 18, when 3.3 inches fell on a day whose last record was set at 1.4 inches in 1939.

“That’s just an absurd amount of rain for a 24-hour period,” Webb said. “We’re way over normal.”
I could quote more, but why bother with text when I can show you.  Here's WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids on the banks of the Grand River.

Grand River breaks crest in 2 cities

The Grand River crested at record levels in two West Michigan cities Sunday night.

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