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$5 Gas Hits Connecticut; $6-Plus Predicted For Tri-State Very Soon

STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) -- With the unrest in the Middle East, some economists say $5 a gallon gas will become the norm.

At first you might have thought your eyes were playing tricks on you, but they weren't. Gas prices hit $4.99 for premium in Stamford on Wednesday, reports CBS 2's Scott Rapoport.

"I feel like ... oh god!" said Janet Alfonseca of Greenwich.

"Horrible. Who's making all that kind of money? Not us," said Bill Loftus of Worcester, Mass.

If there is one saving grace to the near-$5 price, you do get a free drink with a fill-up at the Shell station in Stamford.

"I shouldn't have a car. I should buy a bike. It's disgusting," Alfonseca said.

Drivers say it's all part of a bad situation that's getting worse. The average price of a gallon of gas in Connecticut now is $4.09, compared to a year ago when it was $2.97. In New Jersey it was $3.83 on Wednesday, compared with $2.69 a year ago. In New York, a gallon of gas is now averages 4.03, compared to $3 a year ago.

"It's worse now. You can't survive. There is no way to pay the gas and it could get worse," said Gene Cantave of Stamford.

Robert Sinclair of AAA New York said with the situation in Libya and Syria so volatile future prices of $6 – or more -- for gas by summer could be looming.

"We're seeing mainly fear, fear that there might be interruptions in supply because of tensions in the Middle East," Sinclair said. "The sky's the limit. They're paying $8-$9 a gallon in England. Who knows where it could go?"

It's not just affecting the way we feel, but the way we drive.

"It's ridiculous and it's getting worse. You can't go anywhere," said Sarah Small of Jackson, N.J.

A lot of motorists Rapoport talked to said skyrocketing gas prices have forced them to change their driving habits -- and their lifestyles.

"At home we don't drive unless I have to," said Dave Gamble of Stafford Springs, Conn.

"Any time I don't have to drive I don't," added Eric Goldstein of Stamford.

"Basically, it's just work and home," said Anthony Demond of Stamford.

Sinclair said there are some things motorists can do to save money and gas … sort of.

"You can combine your errands with your commute. You can keep your vehicle on optimum condition to save gasoline but the savings are really gonna be negligible," Sinclair said.

It's not like we haven't seen $5 a gallon at the pump before -- as recently as 2008. It was just something we never wanted to see again.

"It's a lot of money. A lot of money," one driver said.

How fed up are you? Are your summer travel plans going to change? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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