HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) - Jim Woodrum couldn't believe it at first, but liked what he saw Wednesday morning as he stopped for gas.
HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — Jim Woodrum couldn't believe it at first, but liked what he saw Wednesday morning as he stopped for gas.
"It's unreal," said Woodrum, who decided to top off his tank when he spotted fuel starting at just below $1.83 per gallon at a Speedway in southwest Ohio. "I never thought it would happen."
The average cost of gas in Ohio has dipped below $2 per gallon for the first time in more than five years. The average for a gallon of regular gas fell to $1.99 in Wednesday's survey from auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and WEX Inc.
Ohio AAA spokeswoman Kimberly Schwind said that average hasn't been below $2 since April 28, 2009, when it was $1.98. She says back then, the recession was a key factor.
This time, Schwind said, prices have been dropping for months because of an oversupply of crude oil worldwide. She said there's also a seasonal element, as gas prices tend to be lower during winter.
Drivers had gotten used to gas prices above $3 as the "new norm," she said. They've been there since 2010, after the nation emerged from the recession.
"Because this is a situation that we really have not seen before, nobody really knows how low the gas prices are going to go or when they're going to hit bottom and start to move up," Schwind said.
Truck driver Thomas Iker said it's about time.
"They finally decided to give us a break," said Iker, from West Chester Township near Hamilton. "We truckers have been paying excessive fuel prices way too long."
The national average Wednesday was $2.26 per gallon, down from $2.35 last week and $3.32 a year ago.
Woodrum, of Norwood, Ohio, was on his way to work at an auto auction but decided to stop and go inside the convenience store to prepay for $15 worth of gas. To his surprise, it took less than $12 to fill up.
"I've got to go back in and get some dollars back," he said with a grin.
AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report: http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com
Associated Press writer Kantele Franko contributed in Columbus.