CINCINNATI — As millions of American drivers hit the road this weekend, Memorial Day gas prices are at the highest level in seven years, according to AAA.
The agency blames a combination of soaring demand this spring, a tanker driver shortage and the fact that supply remains constrained from the recent Colonial Pipeline shutdown.
As a result, most Cincinnati-area gas stations have raised their prices to $2.99 a gallon, their highest Memorial Day price since 2014.
You can see a map of the latest Tri-State gas prices in WCPO.com's traffic section.
Yolanda Myree and her daughter, filling up their car at the Shell on Madison and Edwards Road in Norwood, are feeling the pinch.
"They are getting too high," she said. "We can't buy enough food at Kroger to get 10 cents off."
But Julie Corsig said, "What can you do? I liked it better when it was cheaper, but what are you going to do? Everything is going up."
Spot shortages due to pipeline, trucking issues
Drivers are facing not just high prices, but fuel shortages, too. Especially if they are headed for Tennessee, Georgia or the Carolinas.
And some of those shortages may be popping up closer to Cincinnati.
The BP on Madison Road in Norwood was all out of Premium and Midgrade gas late Thursday, with its pumps only dispensing Regular.
No one could tell us why at the station, and a spokeswoman at BP's midwest regional headquarters told us, "We do not comment or speculate on market conditions."
But AAA says shortages persist throughout the southeast from the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, even though the pipeline is running again.
In addition, it says a shortage of tanker drivers is leading to temporary shortages nationwide.
Another $22 per fill-up
The biggest issue for drivers is that we're now paying more than a dollar a gallon more than we were about a year ago.
And with the average SUV taking 20 gallons of gas, that means today's fill-up is costing you another $22 compared to last Memorial Day.
Shelby Hyatt said she's not too worried, though.
"I'm staying home this weekend, so I won't be spending a lot of money on gas," she said.
And that is one way to save on rising gasoline costs.
That way, you don't waste your money.
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