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Soaring gas prices top $4 a gallon in SoCal

March 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
With oil prices soaring to more than $104 a barrel, the impact is being felt at the pump across Southern California.

Gas prices are at their highest levels in more than two years, forcing cash-strapped commuters to make tough financial decisions.

According to the Automobile Club of Southern California, the average price for a gallon of gas in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area rose from $3.39 to $3.88.

Meantime, in the Riverside-San Bernardino area, prices are at $3.86 compared to last month's average price of $3.37 a gallon.

In Orange Country, people are paying about $3.87. That price is up 47 cents from a month ago.

In Ventura, drivers are paying $3.89, which is up 49 cents from last month.

In California, the price for a gallon of gas has jumped as much as 20 cents in just one week in some places. Californians are paying more than those in Hawaii and Alaska - two states that usually pay the most for gas because oil has to be shipped to those states.

Gas prices are only expected to rise if the demand stays high and if the unrest in the Middle East and Africa continues.

Many Southlanders say they will change their driving habits to afford filling up their tanks.

"I drove the small car. I have an Expedition, but this car, put in $20 and get to the volleyball tournament," said Santa Barbara resident Ed McGee.

"It's crazy. It's like burning my pockets up," said Ontario resident Jerome McClelland. "I just traveled out here from Texas, and the prices out there are like 10 times from out here, so it's eating my pockets."