HARRISON, N.Y. – Harrison motorists may start to notice gas prices trickling down at the pump, as the gas shortage and spectacular lines at stations have subsided after Hurricane Sandy.
As of Thursday afternoon, New Yorkers were paying $3.88 per gallon for regular ($4.22 for premium) – the most on the U.S. mainland, and eight cents higher than in Connecticut, which was the second highest nationwide. The cheapest gas could be found in Mississippi at $3.13 a gallon.
In Harrison, the cheapest gas was at Citgo on Halstead Avenue, $3.99 per gallon for regular. The Gulf and Shell gas stations, also on Halstead, charged $4.09 for regular.
Nationally, motorists were paying an average of $3.40 per gallon for regular and $3.72 for premium on Thursday. Prices were 10 cents higher than they were a year earlier, but three cents lower than in the previous week.
AAA New York spokesperson Robert Sinclair said Hurricane Sandy caused prices to be the highest they’ve ever been on Thanksgiving Day.
“We had a good trend of gasoline prices going down in the last half of September, and it went down 26 cents in October. Thanks to the hurricane, it dropped less than a dime in November,” he said. “We were peaking much higher in our region as a result of the storm.”
If normal gas price cycles continue, prices should continue dropping until they bottom out in December or January, Sinclair said. They should stay flat for some time before they begin a slow and steady climb toward the end of February or beginning of March.
Sinclair warned that the weather may still be a factor in another price spike if it gets extremely cold.
“The X factor is the cold weather. If thermostats get cranked up, we’re going to need more home heating oil,” he said. “When there’s a need for more oil, it causes competition with gas – which would lead to the prices of heating oil and gasoline both rising.”
Motorists in the area were hoping the gas prices would continue to decrease.
“I’m just hoping – the way the economy is and everything – it goes down,” said Harrison resident Nick Vaccaro while filling up at the Shell gas station. “People can’t afford it no more. It’s tough. Pretty soon I’ll be on a fixed income. I’m going to retire soon and not be able to afford it anymore. We’ve got to do the best we can with what we’ve got.”