So far, Katrina is the winner. But the week is still young.
The Triangle average price for regular reached $4.053 per gallon today, according to fuelgaugereport.com. That represents a three-day spurt of 36.1 cents, since Friday.
With Gulf refineries still offline after Ike, it's a good bet that prices will continue climbing this week — even as state officials warn against gougers — and we'll break the local record high of $4.054 set on 3 different days in mid-July.
How bad did it get three years ago, and how fast?
At the beginning of September 2005, as Katrina was shutting down the Gulf refineries, prices spiked even faster. The Triangle average hit $3.184 on Sept. 4, 2005 -- a leap of 50.2 cents in 3 days, and 61.9 cents in 4 days.
It's comforting to remember that what goes up eventually comes at least half-way down. Three years ago, the local average fell steadily after the Katrina spike, dropping below $3 after a couple of weeks. It bobbed up again with Rita in October and then dropped 'way on down to $2.069 in early December.
Gee. When I think of $2 gas, I get all nostalgic inside.