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Yorkers staying close to home for Thanksgiving

Experts are predicting the national average gas price to drop below $2 per gallon for Thanksgiving, but not in Pennsylvania.

David Weissman

Americans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving weekend at the highest rate since the recession, but many York residents don't appear to be among those making long treks.

Travel agency and car lobbying group AAA is predicting 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 or more miles from home during the long weekend. The number would represent a 0.6 percent increase over last year and highest total since 2007, when that total reached 50.6 million, according to an Associated Press report.

In this file photo, a customers fills up his car at the Sheetz at 1484 Carlisle Ave. Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. The Pennsylvania-based chain announced it's spending $15 million to raise employees wages.

Dan Carl, of York City, and Codi Rigg, of Mechanicsburg, were among many residents walking around downtown York City mdiday Tuesday who said they'd be staying within their hometowns to enjoy their turkey-based feasts.

"My family is all in Pennsylvania," said Rigg, who will be enjoying the holiday at her grandparents' house. "No need to go anywhere else."

Gas prices: Rigg did say she'd be more likely to travel this year, if she did have family out of state, because of lower gas prices. Many Americans will take advantage of the lower prices as nearly 90 percent of holiday travelers are expected to drive, according to the AP.

The national gas price average was just more than $2.05 as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Experts at the company are predicting that average will drop to $1.99 per gallon on Thanksgiving.

"That (prediction) might be a little aggressive," Jeff Pelton, a senior petroleum analyst at the company, said. "But the good news is (gas prices are) going to continue dropping."

Pelton said an expected price drop has been delayed because oil refineries typically finish up October maintenance by the first week of November, but that maintenance is still occurring. Once that maintenance is complete, which is expected to be soon, those refineries will want to flood the market with gasoline and prices will fall, Pelton said.

Cars jam the pumps before holiday travel at the Sheetz at 1484 Carlisle Ave. Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. The U.S. has issued a global travel warning calling for travelers to use vigilance throughout the holiday season.

Pelton predicted that prices should hit lows around Christmas or New Year's.

Pennsylvania remains one of the more expensive states in the country to fill up the tank, with a state average of $2.28 per gallon, though that's still nearly 68 cents cheaper than a year earlier. York's average is slightly lower at $2.26 per gallon as of Tuesday afternoon.

Pelton suggested that Pennsylvania residents who are traveling out of state stop for gas in either New Jersey (average of $1.95 per gallon) or Maryland ($2.09).

Joan Caruso, of York Township, will be able to take advantage of that advice, or at least her siblings will, as she's traveling in their car to her nephew's house near Baltimore for Thanksgiving.

"(My brother and sister) don't usually (stop for gas) in Maryland, but I imagine they will this year," Caruso said.

High alert: Caruso added that she's not too worried about terrorist attacks ruining her family's holidays, despite the State Department issuing a travel alert that will be in effect until February 24.

"You just can't worry about things like that," she said

The alert, issued Monday, comes in response to recent extremist attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Lebanon, Turkey and Mali.

“U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation,” said the alert. “Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowded places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events.”

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