Gas prices force a change in plans for many local travelers - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Travel plans changing as pump prices rise

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - The record price at the pump stood for five years.  It then took three days for that record to be topped.

Gas prices in Eau Claire went up another nickel to $4.19.

We're all wondering if this is as high as they'll go.

We went back and checked what the price of gas was in Eau Claire on this date the past four years.  Next to each date is what happened to prices shortly after the holiday weekend.

2012:  $3.75 ($0.10 drop)

2011:  $3.95 ($0.10 drop)

2010:  $2.85 ($0.10 drop)

2009:  $2.43 ($0.30 increase)

Prices dropped a dime three years in a row, but spiked by 30 cents in 2009.

Many travelers already have plans set for this weekend.  We wondered if prices remain above the $4 mark, will other summer trips take a back seat?

"For my Jeep Cherokee, it was normally about $60. Now it's about $80," said Ricky Larkins of Eau Claire.

Gas prices have risen to levels previously unseen in Eau Claire, which triggers the sound of sorrow for some hoping to hit the road on vacation this summer.

"Normally, I go to California once a year, but I skipped last year.  I thought I'd be able to go this year.  Gas went up, so I can't go this year either," Larkins explained.

"We do a lot of traveling down to Madison, and I think we're going to limit our trips down to Madison this summer," said Brandon Casto of Eau Claire.

"My wife and my kids and I go down to the Dells or down to the Waukesha, Milwaukee area and I don't know if I'm going to be able to do that much this year," said Gary Mielke of Lake Hallie.

"I'm assuming that probably after Memorial Day it's probably going to go back down a nickel or so and they're going to say, 'Oh well, holiday's over and it's going to go down,' but it probably won't to be honest with you," Mielke said.

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst from Gas Buddy told WQOW News 18 on Tuesday, "The good news is that this is a spike and it is already leveling off.  These are unsustainable numbers.  We saw wholesale gas more for $140 bbl, or somewhere between $40-$50 bbl over the price of North American crude blends run by area plants.  This is it for the region.  You've probably seen the high price for the rest of the year.  I could be wrong, of course," said Kloza.

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