Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Do You Have Gas?

That's a frequent question everyone's asking each other these days. I don't mean the intestinal kind; Southerners would never be so impolite! Georgia is among several states in the Southeast that is struggling to have sufficient supply of gasoline. I'm not sure if it's because of Hurricane Ike, although a certain friend of mine in Austin has plenty of gas and it only costs $3.38/gal, or because Georgia is required by federal law to have a specific formula of gas to combat its smog problem, but WHATEVER the reason, it's a major preoccupation (translation: pain in the heiny!) for everyone living around here.

We've been told several times now that supply would be back to normal in 10 days, but we're still seeing what these photos show happening all over the place. Gas stations are without fuel for days at a time, and then there's a run on it when they do get a tanker in and in less than 8 hours they're out again for several days.

Here's how it went for Bob yesterday. I worked an early shift at Starbucks, which is across the street from a BP and a Shell station. I began to see cars lining up at the BP around 8am, so I called Bob and told him there was gas. He traveled the 10 miles from our house to that exit, waited 30 min. in line TO GET IN THE PARKING LOT of the station, then waited another 20 min. before he got to the pump. The pump shut off 3 or 4 times while he was trying to fill my 28-gallon tank. Thankfully, this station didn't impose a $25 or 10 gallon limit, like some have. The cost per gallon was $4.29.

This afternoon as I headed home, I saw his experience repeating itself at the QuikTrip (QT), so I decided to photograph it for posterity. In the first photo you'll notice that there are no listed prices for any of the grades of gas. This has become the way the stations let the public know they do not have product. As you can see, this station didn't have time to post its prices before word got out, and frankly folks don't care. They have to have it, so they'll pay whatever it costs.

The second, third, and fourth pictures are to show you how long the line stretched from the station. The traffic light is at least 1/4 mile, if not farther, and these were just the cars of folks on this road. There was another line at the other entrance to the station that would've stretched past the intersection if allowed!

It's nuts down here, and it's effecting everything we do. We wanted to go out for dinner last weekend, but limited ourselves to what we could find within a 2 mile radius of our house. We didn't take the boat out on the lake because we weren't sure about our ability to get gas for it again, and didn't want to spend the gas it would take to pull the boat to and from the launch. In short, we aren't going anywhere but where we have to go--work, the grocery, and school. It's making everyone a little cranky.


Steph said...

It's the same way in Charlotte and Concord, NC.

sandra said...

gas is coming all the QT (except the one in johns creek) had gas