Northwest Iowa — If you drive a vehicle, you may have noticed that gas prices are on the rise.
We thought that might be due to more people getting out as more pandemic restrictions are being relaxed. History has also shown that gas prices tend to rise as we approach holidays as well, in anticipation of more people filling up. We asked Mark Peterson with the auto club AAA Iowa if that is the case, or why exactly gas prices are going up.
(as said:) “I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. That’s exactly it. In the last week, we’ve seen about a 10% increase in gas sales. It’s slowly inching up and it’s going to continue to approve the Fourth of July. The national average today is $2.17. Iowa is $2.09 and that’s still approximately 50 cents less than it was last year at the same time.”
Peterson says another factor is COVID-19. He says people were staying home, but now they are more active again. But he says people following advice to stay home can change the gas prices in that area, “in a heartbeat.”
We asked Peterson to peer into his crystal ball and predict what would happen with the gas price leading up to Independence Day this weekend.
(as said:) “It’s going to continue to increase. There are more and more people going to the pump. And when you have more gas going out that also just means that your reserves are going to start to decrease. So yeah, that’s definitely going to happen.”
Normally AAA releases a travel forecast for holidays, but during the pandemic, they haven’t been doing that.
(as said:) “You know, we didn’t release Independence Day holiday travel this year because some of the indicators are going to be too tough to read but what we are estimating is about 683 million road trips from July 1st through September 30th for the hit the road for the holidays coming up and the rest of the summer. So that’s going to continue to be an active travel season. Not as much as last year obviously, but still picking up a little bit and only, and hopefully it stays that way for our travelers.”
A check of northwest Iowa gas prices at gasbuddy.com shows the two most common prices for a gallon of gas are $1.99 and $2.09. $1.99 is the low price in the four northwesternmost Iowa counties and could be found in Inwood, Hull, Sioux Center, and Hawarden. The other common price, $2.09, could be found in Sanborn, Sheldon, Orange City, Alton, and Paullina. But that’s not the highest price in the area — that distinction goes to Rock Rapids, where gas was reported to be at $2.14 per gallon. The two outliers with other prices were George at $2.06 and Sibley at $2.04.