NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – New Rochelle 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.
As of Friday afternoon in New Rochelle, the cheapest gas was at Costco Gasoline, 1 Industrial Lane, Gulf Gas, 569 North Ave., and the no-name station, 452 North Ave., at $3.75 per gallon for regular, according to newyorkgaspices.com.
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.”
New Rochelle resident Paul Pasacreta is happy gas prices are going down, but doesn’t think relief at the pump will last.
“Probably not for long I'm sure,” he said in a post on the New Rochelle Daily Voice facebook page.