By Nathan Ham
As warmer weather starts to arrive and families start planning their vacations, it appears that everyone will have to factor in some higher gas prices in their budgets.
The average price of gas across North Carolina has risen to $2.65 per gallon for regular, still below the national average of $2.76 per gallon. That price has increased nine cents per gallon over the last two weeks.
“We believe the majority of Carolinians planning to travel this summer, will do so with a road trip. With more expensive gas prices on the horizon, travelers should plan now for the additional costs,” said AAA Spokesperson Tiffany Wright.
Across areas of the High Country, many residents have seen prices at their local gas stations rise above the state average. As of Tuesday morning, GasBuddy reports have the price of regular gasoline anywhere from $2.69 to $2.75 per gallon in Boone and $2.69 to $2.79 per gallon in Blowing Rock. Gas prices are also up in Newland with stations ranging their prices from $2.69 to $2.79 per gallon.
Some places are still a little below the state average. Banner Elk currently has a couple of stations, the Exxon at 115 Main St and the Circle K at 379 Shawneehaw Ave., where prices are at $2.55 per gallon, according to GasBuddy. Prices are even lower over in Ashe County where two stations, the BP on Beaver Creek School Road and Murphy USA at Wal-Mart In West Jefferson, have reported gas prices at $2.49 per gallon. The gas station at Ingles and the Quality Plus station at 1457 S. Jefferson Ave. have prices listed at $2.54 per gallon.
According to AAA, they expect prices could continue to rise, but hopefully still falling short of $3 per gallon.
“Expensive crude oil prices, unrest in the Middle East and strong domestic demand, are some of the factors driving spring gas prices toward new heights,” said Wright. “Gas prices could increase another 5 to 10 cents this season, but right now we don’t expect we’ll see the $3 mark.”