In less than a week motorists in Eastern North Carolina have seen gas prices climb as much as 40 cents in some places.

According to GasBuddy.com, a website that crowdsources gas prices around the country, the average price of fuel across North Carolina has risen from about $2.22 a gallon on Aug. 27 to $2.55 per gallon on Saturday. Some stations in Kinston and New Bern were charging more than $2.60 Saturday afternoon.

The bulk of that price increase comes over the course of about two days, beginning with the Thursday announcement that Colonial Pipeline would shut down a key line that supplies gas to the South due to refinery shutdowns caused by Hurricane Harvey. That pipeline provides nearly 40 percent of the South's gasoline.

In response to the news of the pipeline shutdown and the subsequent price spikes, motorists began lining up at the pumps.

"I think it sucks," Kinston resident Terry Slaughter said Friday while filling up at the Speedway gas station on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Slaughter said he wanted to stop at a station on Herritage St. for gas at $2.34 per gallon but the line of cars at the pumps sent him across town, where he paid 20 cents more than if he had waited in line.

"You couldn't even get in there. There were too many cars at the pumps," he said.

The rise in gas prices also lines up with the Labor Day holiday.

For some drivers, like John Truett of New Bern higher gas prices will not be enough to discourage one last summer trip.

Truett stopped at the Fuel Warehouse in Kinston to fill up on his way to spend the holiday with family in Gastonia.

"We've been planning this trip for a while now," he said.

Also filling up this weekend was Glenn Futrell, who pulled up to the pump with five gas cans to get ahead of any fuel shortages the closed pipeline may cause.

"I don't know what kind of stunt they are going to pull, but they pull it every time," he said. "They make the gas prices go up and all of us are paying for their loss. I wouldn't be surprised if (gas) was up to $4 by the end of next week."

According to the Colonial Pipeline Company website, stations will remain closed so that fuel lines can be assessed and repaired. A Friday afternoon media update estimates that lines will restart operation sometime Sunday.

While he believes the pipeline reopening might bring down prices, Futrell said he doubts it will happen quickly.

"They don't drip it like they carry it up, but we got to have it," he said.

Dustin George can be reached at 252-559-1077 or Dustin.George@Kinston.com.