NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – If you filled your gas tank this Labor Day weekend you know it cost a lot more than it did last year and as you return home from your holiday weekend make sure you have some extra cash to fill up your tank.
The national average for a regular gallon of gas is $3.67 — a dollar more than Labor Day last year — meaning drivers will have been paying more for gas this weekend than in any other year except 2008.
The average gas price in New York has gone up three cents to $3.97.
The weather is partly to blame for high prices.
Hurricane Irene caused six East Coast refineries to have to close down temporarily. Also, Tropical Storm Lee, which just slammed the Gulf Coast, forced 23 drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to be evacuated.
“The national average has also been moving up about six cents in the last week,” Patrick DeHaan, senior analyst at GasBuddy.com told CBS 2.
While fewer people are traveling this Labor Day overall, AAA says the number traveling by car is up 3 percent from last year. It’s estimated nearly 32 million driver hit the roads over the holiday weekend.
“It’s pretty cost-effective to go within a 50-mile radius and I think that’s why people are taking short road trips so they can enjoy the holiday weekend and spend more time there than on the road and save a little money on gas,” Joanna Newton, AAA spokeswoman, said.
Experts say prices may begin to fall in just a few weeks but don’t expect to see the drastic drop we usually do heading into winter because there’s more demand for gas coming from developing countries.
The instability in oil-producing Libya is also expected to keep gas prices higher than normal.
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