Gas issue could increase prices but not expected to impact Memorial Day travel, AAA says

Driving a Car
Posted at 6:45 AM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 10:43:55-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Fuel is flowing through Colonial Pipeline once again just weeks before tens of millions of Americans are expected to leave town for Memorial Day.

Pipeline officials say it could take several days for fuel deliveries to reach depleted gas stations across the South and for conditions to return to normal.

"Right now, it's compounded with there being a shortage of tanker truck drivers," said Holly Dalby, Director of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater, of the gas issue.

The good news is AAA doesn't expect there to be much of an impact on Memorial Day travel plans for families.

The agency forecasts 37 million Americans to travel for the holiday in 2021, a 60 percent increase over 2020, and that's just the beginning.

"AAA definitely is seeing an uptick in travel plans for this year, as well as into 2022 and we're calling it 'revenge travel,'" said Dalby. "A lot of people have that pent up demand, as well as having saved that money so they are planning longer trips and more expensive trips right now."

Any differences travelers might notice would come from the numbers they see on the pump.

AAA predicts the shutdown of the pipeline, which supplies roughly 45 percent of fuel to the East Coast, could raise average fuel prices, which as of Thursday, May 13, sit at $2.91 in Virginia and $2.88 in North Carolina.

"People should probably expect gas to be at that $3 level or just above for Memorial Day weekend. However, AAA has seen over the years that when gas does go up, people tend to still take those road trips," Dalby told News 3.

Around a million Virginians are expected to travel for the holiday.