A look back at local Memorial Day gas prices

Memorial Day weekend is traditionally the start of the summer driving season.

But with gas prices over four dollars in some parts of Michiana, many are re-thinking their road trips.

That made us curious: how bad are the prices compared to Memorial Days of the past?

Today in Roseland, a gallon of gas will run you $3.98.

That's a far cry from Memorial Day 1999, though.

Nine years ago, a gas war drove prices to 88 cents.

You would pay more than four times that at the same station today.

By 2000, prices were on the rise, up about 60 cents. And people were starting to feel the pinch.

This is making it harder for my family to live."

"We can't live without the gas."

"I think it's gonna get better. I think we just gotta be patient."

But the steady climb continued into Memorial Day 2001.

"$1.78... Too much, entirely too much!"

Up almost a dollar in two years -- it was too much, but still a bargain by today's standards.

Fast-forward to 2004 -- a post-9/11 world in the thick of the war in Iraq.

Prices broke that magical two dollar mark, hitting $2.19 as people got ready to hit the road in late May.

In 2005, there was some relief.

Gas was back down below two dollars. But that was short lived.

By 2006, it cost about $2.70 a gallon to fill up.

A year later, it was even worse.

"Atrocious! Atrocious!"

"It's pretty tough to take."

But despite prices in the $3.45 range, it didn't put the brakes on holiday travel plans -- 38-million people hit the road last Memorial Day.

In 2008, it's a different story.

Gas prices are now at -- or above -- the four dollar mark.

"Unbelievable. I never really thought it would get this high."

The worst around here is Berrien County, where a gallon of unleaded is going for $4.19 at some stations -- almost 30 cents higher than the national average.

And with food prices also on the rise, many are left making tough decisions.

"When you've got to decide whether you want to buy a gallon of milk for your kids, or a gallon of gas so you can get to work to feed your kids -- it's not right."

For the first time in six years, Americans are expected to curb their travel plans during the Memorial Day weekend.

And there's no relief in sight.

Analysts expect prices will only go up in the coming weeks.


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