Recent gas price hike affecting local driving habits - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Recent gas price hike affecting local driving habits

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BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) – Local drivers have recently felt a little more pain at the pump.

The AAA reports gas prices statewide have gone up nearly 50 cents in the past month alone.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded gas in Arkansas is now $3.63. That's up 46 cents from $3.17 per gallon one month ago.

 The price spike has hit drivers hardest in their bank accounts, so a few like Keena Reed of Blytheville are now trying to fill up less often.

Reed stopped Monday at the Quik Stop in Blytheville, where gas now costs customers $3.56 per gallon.

"Working at a minimum wage-paying job, that's too much," she said.

Reed usually has to fill up her car two to three times a week, but her funds are close to running on empty. A full tank of gas now sets her back about $60.

"I hope it goes down a lot," she said, "at least to $3 – if not that, then $3.10 or something because $3.50 is too much."

"You've got to buy gasoline," said Robert Lesley, who passed through Blytheville traveling to Kentucky. "I mean, there's no way around that to get where you want to go."

Lesley is on the road a lot for work. His travels have taken him throughout the region, where he says gas prices are all about the same.

"The prices I see here in Arkansas are about what you see in central Mississippi and about what I saw driving through Tennessee as well," Lesley said. "[The price] is all high. It's high everywhere. You're not going to get a break anywhere."

Prices nationally at the pump have jumped almost 20 cents during the past two weeks, but drivers may get some relief soon. Experts say crude oil and wholesale prices are declining, so people can expect what they pay at the pump to go down as well.

A price drop, however, cannot come soon enough for Reed, who has decided to cut back her commute.

"Home and back – that's pretty much it," she said, laughing. "It's a sacrifice to want to go out and have a good time so I can't really get out that much, so basically it's home and back."

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