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Gassing up

Alanezi Abdullah, along with his 2-year-old son Benyh, stops for a fuel and rest break at an Orangeburg BP Station Tuesday afternoon. Starting from their home in Miami, the Abdullahs are taking a holiday road trip to Washington, D.C., and New York.

Fireworks aren’t the only things going up this Fourth of July weekend. Gasoline prices in the Orangeburg area are about 19 cents a gallon higher than they were this time last year.

The average gasoline price at 21 Orangeburg-area stations Monday afternoon was $3.364 a gallon, up from $3.175 a gallon this same time last year.

The least expensive gasoline in Orangeburg sold for $3.319 a gallon at the Dodge’s Store on Edisto Drive, Henry’s Travel Plaza on Edisto Drive and the United Station on U.S. Highway 601.

The gas prices are the highest seen for the Fourth of July weekend since 2008. The prices are down about eight cents a gallon from Memorial Day.

Statewide, gas is averaging $3.38 a gallon, according to the website southcarolinagasolineprices.com. That’s up 23 cents from this same time last year. The website allows motorists to report on gasoline prices they spot.

The highest price is in Myrtle Beach at $3.409 and the cheapest is in Spartanburg at $3.064, according to AAA Carolinas, a subsidiary of the American Automobile Association.

Nationally, gasoline prices are averaging $3.679 a gallon. South Carolina had the lowest gas prices in the nation, according to gasbuddy.com.

Despite the higher gasoline prices, AAA is projecting about 41 million people will travel this holiday weekend, which represents a 1.9 percent increase over the 40.3 million who traveled last Independence Day.

More than 8 in 10 travelers, 34.8 million, will travel by automobile, the highest level since the pre-recession holiday in 2007, according to AAA.

About 610,500 South Carolinians are expected to travel more than 50 miles from home this weekend. It’s the highest number in 13 years, according to AAA Carolinas.

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