Labor Day weekend is just around the corner and AAA predicts a 2.9 percent increase in the number of Americans who will hit the open road for one last summer getaway. But those aren't the only numbers that are climbing. Drivers will likely have to pay more to fill up their gas tanks, thanks to a tropical system bearing down on the Gulf Coast. Our Sarah Blazonis has more.
LIVERPOOL, N.Y. -- If you've noticed prices at the pump climbing, you're not alone. Drivers say they've seen the amount they're spending going up.
"Absolutely. $3.85? That's a lot, especially with this gas guzzler," said Liverpool resident Brittany McBride.
"It went from about $60-$80 to $120 to fill it up," said Richard Burghardt of Fulton.
Officials with AAA say gas prices have jumped 23 cents in the last month locally. That's because factors like seasonal demand and geopolitical tensions have driven up the cost of crude oil.
Now, the tropical system known as Isaac is heading straight for the Gulf Coast.
"The Gulf Coast is the nerve center for the US when it comes to gasoline," said Diana Dibble, public affairs manager for AAA Central and Western New York. "So, what's already happened, evacuation of oil platforms, what they're looking at is going to be the shutting down of refineries and pipelines."
Analysts with GasBuddy.com say as of mid-day Monday, 25 percent of oil production in the gulf had been shut down.
"Part of the east coast gasoline is sourced from the Gulf Coast," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com. "These refinery outages are concerning because it may impact supply along the east coast, and that's why we see the price go up considerably," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.
While experts say there's nothing drivers can do about the price here, there are steps they can take to make sure they're getting the most for their money.
AAA recommends taking steps like making sure your tires are properly inflated, don't slam on the gas or brakes, and driving the speed limit to conserve fuel.
"Probably just have to work through it, honestly, because everybody's got to get to work," said McBride.
GasBuddy analysts say prices are likely to rise five to 15 cents during the next several days.