Ahead of Labor Day, Gas Prices Spike In Isaac's Wake
Travel projections have been tempered this Labor Day holiday due to rising gas prices, poor weather.
AAA of the Carolinas is dampening its projections for travel over the Labor Day weekend.
With climbing gas prices and the uncertainty of weather conditions because of Hurricane Isaac, the travel and safety agency predicts many last-minute travelers will stay at home this holiday weekend.
An expected 424,000 South Carolina residents are expected to travel more than 50 miles from home Aug. 30 to Sept. 3, according to AAA. That number is roughly the same number of travelers as last year, but the expectations were much higher for this holiday season just 30 days ago.
“A month ago, we expected a robust increase this year for the Labor Day holiday travel weekend," said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. "but with the recent spike in gas prices and the threat of Hurricane Isaac, many last-minute travelers will choose to stay home."
Isaac is currently grinding along at a slow pace in the Gulf of Mexico, where many of the nation's vital oil refinery operations are located, which does not help an already steadily upward trend at the pump. South Carolina gas prices have increased an average of a penny a day since July 3, rising from $2.91 to $3.49 a gallon – up 58 cents in the past 56 days.
The national average for a gallon of gas stands at $3.79 and rising, according to GasBuddy.com. And though prices are rising in South Carolina, they are still among the cheapest in the nation, especially compared to the Palmetto State's neighbors. Motorists are expected encounter sticker shock at the gas pumps in North Carolina and Georgia, where prices are 23 cents higher on average.
Currently, gas prices are averaging $3.59 in Greenville, while they range from $3.43 to $3.69 in Easley and from $3.45 to $3.69 in the Mauldin and Simpsonville areas, according to GasBuddy.