Gas prices on the rise in Tri-State as Thanksgiving nears

November 21, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

Thanksgiving is almost here, and for many families, filling up on turkey first calls for filling up on gas. This year, that part might be more painful than usual.

"This is the first time that we have seen gas prices topping more than $3 a gallon in November," said Jim Lehman, senior vice president for the east central region of AAA travel service. "A year ago, prices were in the range of $2.20 a gallon, so this year, travelers are really feeling the pinch."

In Hagerstown, the average gas price Tuesday was $3.15 per gallon, up 92 cents from this time last year, according to AAA. That could rise even more as the demand goes up among Thanksgiving travelers, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Ragina C. Averella said.

Hagerstown gas prices are higher than the national average of $3.09, and also above the averages in Baltimore and the Washington suburbs, which are about $3.02 and $3.06, respectively.


Refueling Tuesday night at Sheetz on Dual Highway, Fayetteville, Pa., resident Eric Skjeveland, 30, marveled at the price of $3.09 per gallon.

"Usually, prices are a little lower by this time of year," he said.

Because gas is so expensive, he said he and his wife and children plan to visit their relatives in Missouri only once this year, after New Year's, and spend Thanksgiving closer to home instead.

But for many other Americans, travel plans still are on, according to AAA. The organization projects 31.2 million people, or 80 percent of all holiday travelers, will drive to their destinations this Thanksgiving, a slight increase over last year.

Lowest Tri-State gas prices

· Hagerstown - BP, 18403 Maugans Ave., $3.079

· Martinsburg, W.Va. - 7-Eleven, King Street and Winchester Avenue, $3.049

· Chambersburg, Pa. - Exxon, 1080 Lincoln Way West, $3.049

Prices are for regular gas as of Tuesday, according to Oil Pricing Information Service data.

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