Gas prices quickly hiking up

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – After seeing some relief at the start of the summer, the cost to fill up gas tanks shot up over the last month.

Friday morning , the average price at the pump for a gallon of regular gas in South Carolina was $3.38 according to AAA Carolinas.

About one month ago drivers were paying almost 50 cents less per gallon.

According to Tom Crosby with AAA Carolinas, it's the perfect storm of several key factors that's jacking prices up. There are still weeks left in the busy summer driving season, which puts a higher demand for gas. Another reason for the sudden hike is the drought in the Midwest.

This forced the price of corn to rise, and consequently the price of ethanol too, a common additive to gas. These factors combined are pushing prices upward.

Crosby says it's why last month South Carolina had one of the biggest price hikes he's seen in over a decade. This leaves local driver to deal with the sudden fluctuation.

"I just don't go out as much as possible. In fact I had to pay with nickels and dimes just so that I can make it to the daycare," said local driver Elizabeth Zelars.

Crosby says Labor Day there should be a change. That's when the busy summer season is over, and driving drops dramatically. This creates less demand and that tends to drive down the price at the pump. One major element that could change things and quickly, is a hurricane, especially over the next few weeks.

August is usually one of the busiest months for the hurricane season. Crosby points out it's difficult to predict exactly when and if the price of gas will start to go down.

"I mean it stresses me out. Sometimes I don't even have money for gas.  And then I'm trying to figure out, what am I going to do? What kind of plan am I going to plan on for this week?" said Emma Johnson of the recent dramatic rise.

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