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Bought gas--not as easy as you might think

If you've missed the news, Atlanta is still suffering the effects of hurricane-induced gas shortages. Or perhaps consumer-induced gas shortages, depending on who you believe. The truth probably lies in between. Anyway, many stations are still out of gas, the average price here is the highest in the country this week, I think, and stations that do have gas generally have lines. If you're lucky, you find one where the people in the lines are being relatively cordial about it. I'm told there was a policeman at the QT near work this morning breaking up an altercation over who was next.

Anyway, my gas light came on on the way home. I went to Jazzercise, where someone confirmed that all the stations at Northlake were out today, but she thought that QT was managing to keep their stations supplied fairly well. I went home and ate dinner, then set out at 8 PM to try the QT in Tucker, hoping that there would be fewer people trying to buy gas as it was well past the commuter window. That worked pretty well--the station had regular gas only, priced pretty reasonably at $3.979, and though the pumps generally always had someone at them there were usually only one or no cars waiting to pull up. I think this station has 20 pumps--it's pretty big. No limit requested on purchases, not that that would have been a big hassle, as the general limit seems to be 10 gallons and I put in 12-13 most of the time.

So, I'm full, and good for hopefully long enough for this to finish working through. The EPA has relaxed the summer gas requirement a week early, which is supposed to help get more supply for the Atlanta market.

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
shrewreader
Sep. 26th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
A little of both, at this point.

We got gas, because we were worried (about price, in general), and available quantities. You and I both did this, and, given your experience, were sensible to do so.

But 4 million other people in the metro ATL did the same thing, so we emptied out the gas stations' tanks. Now, gas stations usually fill up pretty regularly -- and don't get down below 1/2 a tank, so to speak. So, when they -do- get below 1/2 a tank, they need more truck loads than they usually do to refill their tanks.

This is not much of a problem when there are only 40 or 50 stations needing such extra trucks -- but much more of one when 50 or so percent of the stations need extra trucks. (A) there just aren't enough trucks to go around efficiently, complicated by (B), the pipelines aren't running at full, because (C) some of the refineries are still offline.

So. My tank's at just below 1/2. Any idea where to go?
nlbarber
Sep. 26th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
My tank's at just below 1/2. Any idea where to go?

QuickTrip seems to be better supplied, both by my own observations and a little tidbit on WABE this morning. The comment was that QT was focusing on keeping their stations near schools and on commuter routes supplied. Isn't there a big QT on Briarcliff at Clifton/Shepard's Lane that isn't too far from you (if I'm right about where you live...)?

And thanks for the explanation--that's more or less what I'd deduced. And I did let the tank get down to E this time, trying to do my part. Haven't made a strong effort to reduce my driving, though.
ann_mcn
Sep. 26th, 2008 10:34 am (UTC)
I filled up Saturday, which should hold me until the middle of next week. Reminds me of the gas crisis back in the early 80's.
sunlizzard
Sep. 28th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
It's hit Charlotte, too. Em wasn't able to find gas Thursday or Friday at all. A friend of hers had scored 5 gallons that he didn't immediately need; he gave her 2 gallons so that she could continue looking.

This morning her co-worker called early, crowing that she'd found a station with gas and the lines aren't too long, c'mon, hurry! There was a limit of $30 total purchase--it was about 7 gallons--so she's okay for a while.

Nothing even remotely like that happened here. But again, the Houston area is not our primary supplier. I feel for y'all and hoping this insanity ends soon!
nlbarber
Sep. 28th, 2008 01:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, my older brother drove down from Durham today, and saw problems further out than I thought it spread. I'd warned him to fill up outside Atlanta, and he ended up finding gas in Greenville, but not at the first station he came to. I think south Georgia is better off (he's on his way to visit with our father, deep in south Georgia), so I'm hoping the rest of his trip will be OK.
sunlizzard
Sep. 28th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
I luckily snagged a reasonably priced air fare, so I'm coming for a visit in a couple of weeks. (Yay! Miss that kid, sumpthin' fierce!) One of the things I really wanted to do was drive up into the mountains around Asheville, perhaps to Montreat. I was thinking "weather permitting"; now I wonder if it won't be "gas shortage permitting!"
nlbarber
Sep. 28th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)
My brother did mention hearing an article on the Durham NPR affiliate about gas shortages in Asheville, specifically. That was worsened by the difficulties of trucking all the gas from the closest pipeline terminus up into the mountains. So beware!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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