Spike In Gas Prices Hits Just Before Spring Break

The mercury is rising and so are gas prices.

"Yesterday morning it was about $1.85," said gas customer David Friend, "and I came here this morning and it was $1.94."

Prices in Tyler have risen from $1.76 last week to $1.96 this week for regular unleaded gas. In Longview gas customers have seen prices from $1.93 to $1.96. It's a common trend around East Texas.

For spring breakers, especially college students, the spike in price comes at the worst time. Jacquelyne Viet will drive 13 hours to her home in South Carolina.

"Once I get there I'll probably just leave my car," Jacquelyne said, "not drive anywhere and try to do as less driving as I can."

Nicholas Cline and 5 buddies will drive a truck to Colorado.

"Everybody is chipping in for gas," Nicholas Cline said. "I think each of us is chipping in about 40 bucks or more, or 50."

Thursday morning the state average for regular unleaded was a $1.90 compared to the national average of $2.00.

Spring breakers, families, mini vans are hitting the road so we checked out prices for some of Texas most popular tourist cities.

If you pass through any of these cities here's a little of what you can expect.

If Dallas is your destination the average price you'll pay right now is $1.92. Planning to check out the caves around Austin? Your price at the pump is $1.87 The price is also the average for the metro area of Houston or island fun in Galveston.

A historical tour of San Antonio or a splash in the waves in Corpus Christi also around $1.87.

"I'm going to have to cut down on driving," Jacquelyne said. "Do as much walking as I can around campus and those prices are expect to jump again."

Reports say prices will hit record highs between April and September, reaching a national average of $2.10 a gallon.

"It's bad, but I've got to have it," said David Friend.

One of the factors at the root of this price surge, the cost of a barrel of oil. Wednesday it hit a near record high of over $55 a barrel.

KLTV is keeping track of gas prices across East Texas. With your help we can find some of the lowest prices in the area. Just go to the homepage and look for the "Pump Patrol" icon. There you can tell us about gas prices in your part of East Texas.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com