Gas prices down across area as drivers hit the road for Labor Day

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's Labor Day weekend, which means many people in the area are headed to the shore or the mountains.

According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, Philadelphia, South Jersey, and Delaware should see prices that are at least 25 cents lower than last Labor Day weekend, and the cheapest since 2016.

Jerri Farmer, of Sharon Hill, is headed to the beach, and like many drivers, is thrilled to see lower gas prices at the pump.

"You always have to factor in gas prices, but this definitely is a bonus. Way cheaper this year than it was last year," she said.

John Kilbride of Northeast Philadelphia has been keeping an eye on prices.

"They're dropping. They're going down. They were high," he said.

AAA expects more drivers to hit the road this Labor Day weekend as gas prices are down from their 2019 peak in April.

In the Philadelphia five-county area, the average was $3.01 on Memorial Day down to $2.77 on Thursday, even amid the decision to close Philadelphia Energy Solutions.

"There was a hiccup between that time period with the PES refinery fire and the subsequent closure announcement, but that leveled off, and prices reverted back to their decline throughout the summer months," said Jana Tidwell with AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Tidwell cautioned that Hurricane Dorian could impact gas prices in the short term, just as Hurricane Harvey led to a spike in 2017.

"Demand will increase heavily in Florida in the coming days for gasoline. That will send prices up a bit," Tidwell said. "By no means do we want to send anyone into a panic that gas prices are definitely going to rise, but it's something to watch and something to understand as we look at the impact of that storm in the coming days."

Despite a potential short term spike, AAA expects gas prices will continue to drop into the fall with demand declining, and the switchover to winter-blended gasoline.
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