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DES MOINES, Iowa — Three is the magic number for Iowa drivers, but it’s not a number they hoped to see.

The average price of a gallon of gas in Iowa is now $2.89 per gallon according to AAA. That’s nine cents higher than last week and a massive increase from the $1.71 average price from a year ago.

The average prices are higher in the Des Moines metro, with most counties near or above $3 a gallon. That includes:

  • Polk County: $2.96/gallon
  • Dallas County: $3.02/gallon
  • Warren County: $2.99/gallon
  • Story County: $2.93/gallon
  • Marion County: $2.91/gallon

Eugene LaDoceur of AAA said the Colonial Pipeline hack which caused gas shortages in the southeast United States does not have a major effect on Iowa’s prices, since the Hawkeye State is not supplied by that pipeline.

“It’s just another day,” LaDoceur said. “We all look back at the toilet paper shortage at the beginning of the pandemic, this is something similar.”

LaDoceur said the pipeline hack has ticked prices up nationwide, but the major factors behind Iowa’s rise are the return to pre-pandemic trends and the forthcoming Memorial Day travel season.

“All signs are showing that travel will rebound to a great extent,” LaDoceur said. “With that, gasoline demand will increase.”

Drivers such as Shaquille Jones are upset with the increasing price at the pump.

“It’s outrageous. Almost three dollars just for a gallon is crazy,” said Jones, who paid $2.99 per gallon for fuel at a gas station in West Des Moines.

“I’m hoping it goes right back down because it’s getting harder and harder for people out here,” Jones continued. “Especially if you’re not making enough, then you have to worry about gas and food. It’s crazy times we’re all dealing with.”