Experts: Gas could hit $5 a gallon by summer

One year ago, Grand Strand drivers were worried about gas inching over the three dollar a gallon mark.

Now, it's the five dollar mark they might see by Memorial Day. predicts gas will hit the the five dollars a gallon by Memorial Day, and $4.25 by April. AAA Myrtle Beach says they expect gas to hit at least four dollars a gallon by Memorial Day.

"We've seen prices go from an average of $3.24 all the way up to $3.44 for regular fuel, so that's already a big jump and last time this year we were at 3 dollars a gallon," says branch manager Tracie Lawrence.

Tension in the Middle East is driving the spike. Iran is considering extending an oil embargo on France, Britain, and other European countries.

Beth Heisohn, an Oil Price Information Specialist tells ABC News "there's a supply chain and you know it's a matter of week perhaps months as those costs get passed through."

That means consumers will pay more for everyday basics like milk, eggs, fruits and vegetables, since farmers pay more to gas up their tractors. It could also mean higher heating bills and more expensive plane tickets. Goods made from petroleum: fertilizer, makeup, detergent, even prescription drugs could also soon cost more.

"I'm going to have to give something up. Maybe food," driver Michael Van Civer says Tuesday, laughing as he fills up. He adds he has to smile and laugh about it otherwise he'd cry.

In September 2008, Grand Strand and Pee saw their highest gas prices ever.

In July of 2008, gas prices in the U.S. averaged an all time high at $4.12, but quickly receded back to less than two dollars by November that year, according to

Since the December 2008 low of $1.61a gallon, prices have steadily increased over time to the $3.46 average in Myrtle Beach Tuesday, 46 cents higher from this time last year, and $1.96 higher from this time last year.ã??