Prices at the Pump in Mid-MO

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COLUMBIA - Many mid-Missouri residents said Thursday they rushed to the pump after seeing a significant drop in gas prices. The average Columbia price Thursday was $3.35.  That price is more than 20 cents less than recent prices and more than 40 cents less than this year's peak so far.

"As soon as I saw the price today, I filled up right away," said Boone County resident and driver Derek Beutenmiller. "I mean, it was about a dollar cheaper a year ago. I wish it would stay down a little longer, but who knows?"

According to the AAA Fuel Gauge report, which is updated daily, the average gas price in Missouri on Thursday was $3.42 per gallon. However, many gas stations in the Columbia area advertised that lower price.

Some Columbia residents said they hope the gas prices will continue to decrease and would be more willing to consider traveling if they do.

At $3.42 per gallon, Missouri has one of the lowest gas prices averages in the nation. According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, South Carolina has the cheapest gas in the nation at $3.35, while Alaska has the most expensive at $4.24.

The national gas price average is $3.61, which is up from $2.74 one year ago.

Average pump prices in Missouri reached their peak in July of 2008 when one regular gallon cost nearly $3.95.