Florida’s all-time highest per-gallon fuel costs continue to push higher, as the average statewide gallon of gas checks in at $4.76, which despite being ten cents below the national average of $4.86, reflects a nearly thirty cent jump from the first week of May.
With the average Floridian motorist with a 14-gallon fuel tank car needing to spend $66 to refuel, drivers are looking for ways to cut fuel expenditure. Costs, however, could continue to rise, exceeding $5 per gallon in the coming weeks, if expert predictions are accurate.
Reached in 2008, the record high was $4.08 per gallon, adjusting for inflation. The state average is now nearly $2 per gallon higher than today’s date in 2021.
“Drivers are dealing with unprecedented pain at the pump and things could soon get worse before they get better,” said AAA Spokesperson Mark Jenkins. “We saw more big gains in the gasoline futures market late last week, which could trickle down to yet another 10-20 cent jump at the pump in the near future.”
The high fuel prices could lead many Floridians to become less willing to evacuate if hurricanes threaten them, the AAA auto club said. Last week, AAA released survey results that said 42 percent of Floridians might be hesitant about getting out of harm’s way because of fuel prices, with the opinion expected to be wider spread when gas pumps rise even higher.
“Prices at the pump are likely to remain high throughout the summer,” Jenkins said in a statement. “So, if you’re worried about evacuation costs, it may be a good idea to start setting aside some money now.”
Overall, 25 percent of Floridians would ignore evacuation warnings, the survey found.
Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie has said emergency-management officials expect many people will seek shelters rather than hotels hundreds of miles away when storms approach.
“We’re prepared for that,” Guthrie said. “The division has done some shelter-staff augmentation. So, if a county asks for help at their local shelter, we can … get individuals to go there. But I do believe we’re going to have more people go to shelter this year.”
South Florida is hit particularly hard, with Palm Beach County home the highest costs at $4.90 per gallon. Bordering counties Hendry ($4.81 per gallon) and Broward ($4.80 per gallon) follow close behind and can be expected to be among the first to see the $5 mark at gas stations.