Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for AAA-Nebraska, says for that reason, fewer travelers will be on the road for the upcoming holiday both in Nebraska and nationwide, compared to last year.
Weinholzer says, “We expect 34.8-million Americans to journey at least 50 miles or more from home sometime between Thursday and Monday for the Memorial holiday weekend which is about 300,000 fewer people than last year.”
Gas prices have bounded across the region in recent weeks with the temporary closure of several refineries.
“No doubt, there’s an impact on gas prices in the upper Midwest,” Weinholzer says. “It is just a regional issue. Most of the rest of the nation is not experiencing it but the average price for fuel today in the United States is $3.66.”
In Nebraska, the statewide average is now $4.05, well above the national average. The state’s gas prices have risen 65-cents a gallon in the past month.
On the plus side, she believes prices have peaked and will now start to gradually drop.
“The problem was with refineries that had closed for extended maintenance, a couple in the Chicago area, one in Kansas and one in Oklahoma,” Weinholzer says. “We do expect those to come back online after Memorial Day. We do expect a slight decline (in prices) to start after Memorial Day but nothing significant until mid to late June.”
Nebraska’s highest-ever gas price came in July of 2008 at $4.10 a gallon. We’re within a nickel of that record.