Hurricane Harvey Impacting Iowa Gas Prices, Agriculture

ANKENY, Iowa -- Hurricane Harvey has caused unprecedented destruction in the city of Houston and surrounding areas.  That has led industries like the Iowa soybean industry to see effects, albeit not nearly as severe.

“Hurricane Harvey hasn't adversely affected the ports of New Orleans, the ports of South Louisiana, but what we've been very attentive to is as the storm has made landfall and is proceeding through the interior parts of the country it is dumping rain on a lot of these areas where a lot of soybean barges are unloaded and then loaded into ocean vessels so its delayed that” said Executive Director of the Iowa Soy Transportation Coalition Mike Steenhoek.

Currently delays aren't a major issue, but it's something the industry is keeping an eye on.

“We're just hopeful that we'll be back up and running at full speed in the foreseeable future and that's very important to be in that position prior to harvest which really starts gaining steam in the united states in September, October, November” said Steenhoek.

Meanwhile a more immediate issue for Iowans is gas prices.

“The average today is $2.40, the average a week ago was $2.30 so as a result we've seen a dime increase this past week due to Harvey. We may see another dime or so over the span of the next week” said Gail Weinholzer of AAA.

Unlike Hurricane Katrina the energy industry's infrastructure was left undamaged.

“At this point it does not appear as though any of those facilities have been structurally damaged. A lot of those closures are due to safety precautions and those types of things” said Weinholzer.

AAA expects prices to come back down by the end of September at the latest.