Photo by Vince Taroc.

Photo by Vince Taroc.

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded is now 18 cents lower than a month ago, when two hurricanes caused havoc in the Gulf Coast region, according to AAA.

The per-gallon price of $2.49 also marked a decline of 6 cents from a week ago. Gasoline demand fell 281,000 barrels per day to 9.2 million from a week ago, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported.

The nation's average gasoline price is near its pre-hurricane level of $2.33 for the week ending Aug. 21. Prices began climbing the following week, after Hurricane Harvey struck Corpus Christi and the Houston area.

"Gas prices have fallen steadily for the past four weeks, and now we are seeing gasoline demand drop alongside prices," said Jeanette Casselano, a AAA spokesperson. "The latest demand figures show the lowest since the week Hurricane Harvey hit and can likely be the beginning of a downward demand trend indicating even cheaper gas prices to come this fall."

The price of gasoline usually falls to its lowest level each year during the fall and winter months that end the year.

Hurricane season remains in effect, as Hurricane Nate has made landfall over the Gulf Coast. Oil platforms and rigs were shut down and employees were evacuated. Two refineries, which account for 6% of the refining capacity in the region, were shut down. The refineries were expected to restart on Oct. 9.

States that saw the sharpest weekly decline include Georgia (10 cents), Michigan (10 cents), South Carolina (9 cents), Indiana (9 cents), Ohio (9 cents), Alabama (8 cents), Tennessee (8 cents), North Carolina (8 cents), Mississippi (8 cents) and Florida (8 cents), according to AAA.

States with the largest year-over-year price increases include New Jersey (49 cents), Connecticut (43 cents), Massachusetts (42 cents), Rhode Island (39 cents), New Hampshire (35 cents), New York (35 cents), Alaska (34 cents), Utah (34 cents), Pennsylvania (33 cents), and Texas (33 cents).

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet