Hotel, gas prices skyrocket as Hurricane Matthew approaches

Shoppers enter the Costco store in Altamonte Springs, Fla., as central Floridians stock up on supplies ahead of the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Matthew, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

TAMPA, FL. (WFLA) — As Hurricane Matthew sacked Florida’s east coast, the masses herded west to safety. But some businesses are jacking up prices of water, gasoline, and hotel rooms during the storm.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said she was upset after learning of $6 a gallon gasoline near Orlando.

“Shame on them,” said Bondi.

WFLA showed her that in one Jacksonville store, a six-pack of water was selling for over $50.

“We’re asking people to evacuate yet someone is trying to profit trying to sell a six pack of bottled water for $53,” she said.  “It’s horrible, we will be investigating that.”

Vinny Olmstead evacuated to Tampa from Vero Beach.

He reserved a car from Avis for the return trip. Olmstead says it normally costs about $55. His contract shows Avis charged him $105.

“He said, well the hurricane is hitting and that’s the price,” Olmstead explained. “I said, ‘isn’t that price gouging’?  And he goes, ‘uh, well, it’s inventory.’”

Attorney General Bondi isn’t buying it.

“It doesn’t matter, in a state of emergency you can not drastically increase the price,” she said.

WFLA went to Avis to find out about the price hike.

”I can’t comment on anything, I’m sorry,” said the manager who did not want to identify himself.


Attorney General Bondi vows to investigate the car rental charge.

Hotel prices have also shot up, some people report on Twitter. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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