LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Daryl Burgess owns a chain of Marathon convenience stores and says a few weeks ago, 90 percent of his stores went days without fuel because of the pipeline shutdown. Now, he says they’re ready for Memorial Day Weekend.
“It took a little time for it to catch up,” Burgess said. “I think things are back to normal. I say normal because we’ve got gas in the ground in all of our locations.”
AAA is reporting record-high gas prices this Memorial Day Weekend. They point to high demand for travel this weekend mixed with the effects of the recent Colonial Pipeline shutdown.
Last year’s stay-at-home orders meant fewer people traveled on Memorial Day. According to AAA, the average national gas price is $1.12 per gallon higher compared to last year.
“Gas is about supply and demand,” Burgess explained. “So if you’re going to travel, keep in mind that those gas prices are going to be higher this year than they were last year.”
Burgess expects more and more people to fill up throughout the day.
“What I’ve seen this morning is about a ten percent increase, but Memorial Day is usually about getting off on Fridays and then leaving town, so we expect a bigger increase around 5:00 this afternoon,” Burgess said.
Morgan Dean, a Mid-Atlantic spokesperson with AAA, says this will mark the most expensive Memorial Day Weekend for gas prices since 2014.
“When we had the issues with the pipeline, we saw gas prices climb very sharply that week, and they’ve stayed there. They’ve stabilized, that’s at least the good news. They didn’t keep climbing afterwards,” Dean said. “However, with the demand we’re expected to see this weekend, that could drive gas prices up over the next few days, just cause so many people are expected to hit the roads and buy gas and that’s what drives that price up.”
Dean says AAA is estimating that more than 1 million people in Virginia are traveling this weekend. That’s more than last year, he says, but less than two years ago.