WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – With Hurricane season lasting till the end of next month, Westchester County residents may want to make their way to the pump to fill up on cheaper gasoline before it’s too late.
Nationally, the average price for a regular gallon was sitting at $3.36 on Friday, Oct. 18, down nearly 10 cents from a year ago. Arkansas, Louisiana and Virginia ($3.16) sports the cheapest gas, while New York ($3.63) has the third highest, behind California ($3.78) and Connecticut ($3.69).
According to Robert Sinclair, the AAA New York media relations manager, the change is a result of refineries beginning to process the winter blend of gasoline, as opposed to the more expensive, more eco-friendly summer blend that is used during the more busy summer driving season.
Sinclair said that barring catastrophe, prices at the pump will continue to drop until they bottom out in December or January. Prices will begin to rise again in March when the transition to the summer blend begins.
“(The lower prices) are a trend, we’ve switched blends and overseas, the news isn’t as dire as it has been,” he said. “There’s many different reasons for the shift, some are cyclical, some are typical and others are based on the markets.”
There are several factors that may force prices to spike, similar to last year. Sinclair said that with hurricane season coming, a storm wouldn’t have to even hit the east coast for New Yorkers to be impacted. If the gulf coast suffers another catastrophic hurricane, prices could rapidly rise.
“The X factor is that we’re coming up on hurricane season. It doesn’t have to hit us directly, nearly a third of United States refining and distribution is located in that region,” he said. “That would be the worst, as far as prices. If a storm hits us directly, the supply will be the thing most affected.”
In Eastchester, according to NewYorkGasPrices.com, the cheapest regular gas can be found at Mobil and Gulf on White Plains Road for $3.69 per gallon. In Scarsdale, Gulf on Scarsdale Avenue near Wright Place is charging $3.53 while BP on Palmer Avenue in Bronxville is charging $3.79.
As recently as July, prices were peaking well past $4.00 in most of Westchester County. New Rochelle resident Mike Gibbons, 55, who was gassing up at Mobil on Marbledale Road in Tuckahoe, said he’s just going to enjoy the relief while it lasts.
“It’s something you’re aware of, and it’s always nice to see the prices go down every once in awhile,” he said. “You don’t know how long they’re going to stay, so we just have to take advantage of it now and hope it doesn’t get worse.”