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Memorial Day weekend brings higher gas prices, lingering shortages

Gas prices are hitting their highest mark in seven years heading into Memorial Day weekend, as...
Gas prices are hitting their highest mark in seven years heading into Memorial Day weekend, as some Southeastern states still deal with gasoline shortages.
Published: May. 26, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT
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(CNN) – If you’re one of the 34 million Americans expected to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, pack your patience and plenty of gas money.

“We’re expecting these higher gas prices to be unfortunately sticking around,” said AAA spokesman Andrew Gross.

Drivers in the Southeast are still dealing with gas shortages, while motorists across the country are likely in for a gasoline price shock at the pump.

According to GasBuddy, gasoline prices are hitting their highest level in seven years ahead of the holiday.

On Wednesday, the national average for a gallon of regular was $3.04.

“It’s the first $3 Memorial Day weekend since 2014. But keeping in mind, it’s only about 6 cents higher than just three years ago,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

Massive demand is driving the increase, but lingering supply chain issues caused by the Colonial Pipeline outage are also a problem.

GasBuddy said it’s still seeing low-supply issues in some Southeastern states.

“Georgia, North and South Carolina, even Tennessee and Virginia are still seeing some outages over 10%,” De Haan said. “In fact, the Carolinas and Georgia still seeing over 20% of stations without fuel.”

AAA says despite the higher prices, packed roads and gas shortages, people are sticking to their plans.

“Folks are still going to travel, so they’ll just figure out another way of trying to save money,” Gross said. “Maybe they won’t eat out as often or they’ll look for more free activities while they’re on their vacation.”

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