If you are planning to or have already hit the road this Labor Day weekend, you can expect to pay a little more at the pump. Many of us have grown accustomed to seeing gas prices rise around the holidays, but Hurricane Isaac is largely responsible for why prices are higher this weekend.
As millions of people hit the road to celebrate the unofficial end of summer, they will quickly notice gas prices aren't taking any kind of vacation. AAA says the national average is about 21 cents higher than this time a year ago.
Virginia Chichester with the AAA Albemarle branch said, "Isaac kind of took a little bit of a toll on the refineries down on the coast, but they are back up in operation now."
When the oil rigs were shut down, 93 percent of the Gulf of Mexico's oil production was cut off, causing prices to rise in every state. The average in Charlottesville is about $3.61 a gallon, 18 cents higher than last year. But that's not slowing down travelers.
"Everybody is traveling, if they are cutting back at all, they may be cutting back in other areas. They may stay with friends and family instead of hotels," said Chinchester.
Brother in laws Michael Stockdale and Jeff Harrison are traveling about 500 miles to take their families to a soccer tournament. "You have to do what you have to do…I wish gas was cheaper, but it is what it is," said Stockdale.
Harrison added, "I mean we have to come up here we can't take a plane, and I mean at $3.59 it's the average, it's not the best thing."
AAA expects 28 million people will travel throughout the weekend, which is a 3.1 percent increase compared to last year. The projected prices will go down as we move into fall.
Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012.Full Story
Natalie Wilson joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in April 2012. She is a proud alum of Howard University and is currently pursuing her Master's in Communication at Johns Hopkins. Email/ Full Story