It appears that Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida on Sunday, will not have much, if any, effect on local gas prices.

That's good news after Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas more than two weeks ago, sent prices soaring more than 40 cents a gallon in the span of a couple of weeks.

As of Monday morning, the price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in Lincoln was $2.57, according to AAA, the same as it was on Sunday. That price is up only 2 cents over a week ago, although it's 26 cents higher than a month ago and 31 cents higher than a year ago.

Statewide, prices actually have started to decline, with Monday's price of $2.56 a gallon down a half cent from Sunday.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said prices have now stabilized nationally and are likely to decline.

The effects of Hurricane Harvey "are finally starting to weaken as refineries return to production and fuel begins to flow once again from many Houston refineries," DeHaan said in a news release.

He said prices should not be affected by Hurricane Irma in most areas of the country because the storm was "a considerable distance from sensitive areas of the energy sector."

Another factor that points toward a decline in prices, DeHaan said is that the summer driving season is now over.

That means, "motorists stand to benefit from falling demand, which will help refineries bring gasoline inventories back to normal and thus gas prices."

However, he pointed out, another hurricane could could easily change that dynamic.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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