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Tropical Storm Isaac Expected to Increase Local Gas Prices

Analysts are predicting anywhere from a 10 to 25 cent increase in the coming weeks.

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The National Hurricane Center has predicted that Tropical Storm Issac, which is currently ripping across the Gulf of Mexico, will become a hurricane on Tuesday with 74 to 95 mph winds.

In anticipation of the storm, dozens of oil rigs sprinkled across the Gulf Coast  have been evacuated and shut down, according to CNN. The stopped oil production, of course, will likely cause already rising gas prices to go up even more in the coming days and weeks.

The cheapest unleaded gas available in Eagan as of Monday afternoon was $3.61 per gallon at the local Holiday station at 1579 Cliff Rd. and at the at 3035 Denmark Ave.

, while USA Today and CNN report an average increase of 10 cents nationwide. In a Savage Pacer article, GasBuddy.com a senior fuel anaylst, Patrick DeHaan, said:

"While this storm doesn't currently appear as powerful as other storms that have caused similar concern—we're continuing to watch the situation develop. One thing is for sure: I'm concerned that this storm will temporarily drive prices higher in the short term."

Tropical Storm Isaac targeted a broad swath of the Gulf Coast on Monday, bearing down just ahead of the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. By Tuesday, the hurricane is could hit from an area southwest of New Orleans to the edge of Florida's panhandle.

Currently, the storm is expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, however, there are other storm models that suggest it could land as a Category 3.

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