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Alabama gas prices remain high one week after Colonial Pipeline restarts

Experts say gas prices could stay high throughout the summer because of the pent up demand for travel due to the pandemic.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Fuel has been steadily flowing for about a week since the Colonial Pipeline restarted, but gas prices remain higher than they've been in years.

Gas prices in Alabama hit an average of $2.78 the week the Colonial Pipeline shut down, but even with it back up and running, people in the state are now paying about $2.85 a gallon.

AAA Alabama says the pipeline hack is partly to blame for the higher gas prices, but they really shot up when people began panic buying.

RELATED: Panic buying leaves gas pumps empty in North Alabama

With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, experts say it could be few months until prices take a dip down.

AAA Alabama PR and Marketing Director Clay Ingram said, "Typically the Memorial Day holiday is our biggest demand weekend of the year as it's kind of the unofficial kick off to the summer travel season and that seems to be the case this year as well."

Prices could remain high as there is a lot of pent up demand for travel due to the pandemic. If you got used to the lower gas prices during the pandemic, experts say those days could be over.

"Our price point right now is pretty close to what we saw in 2018 and 2019, a lot higher than last year, but last year was such a strange year. You can't really compare anything to that," said Ingram.

RELATED: Colonial Pipeline restarts operations, warns it will be days to return to normal

Jackson, DeKalb, and Limestone Counties are seeing some of the highest gas prices in North Alabama one week after Colonial Pipeline operations started back up. One Chevron in Athens is currently charging $2.95 per gallon.

Ingram said, "In some of the metropolitan areas, we're still seeing some prices up a bit, and honestly that's most likely a case of a certain gas station or chain of gas stations maybe feeling like they can charge a little bit more per gallon and still sell the same amount of gas."

Ingram says it's likely Alabama won't see a significant dip in gas prices until January when demand typically drops.

WATCH: Panic buying leaves gas pumps empty in North Alabama

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