Gas supply running low but demand is rising
By: AMANDA HILL BOND
On Friday, Sept. 12th many citizens here in Pickett County filled up at area gas stations, fearing the possibility of gasoline supplies depleting and fuel costs rising. This was due to the anticipation of hurricane Ike who was expected to hit the gulf coast later that night.
Vehicles were lined up off of Highway 111 at George’s Exxon Friday morning causing the gas supply there to completely run out around 11:45 a.m. until early Saturday. According to owner George Lee, his distributors will only provide Exxon fuel to his station. The distributor trucks collect the Exxon gas from hubs which are located in major cities across Tennessee. These hubs provide several different brands of fuel such as Shell, BP and Citgo.
As of Tuesday, Sept. 16th, the gas currently in his tanks for consumers had to come from a hub in Virginia because no Exxon fuel was available at the Tennessee hubs.
The Dale Hollow Shell shut down pumps at 3:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 13th for emergency personnel in case of a critical situation. They received a partial load of gas around 8:30 a.m. when the pumps were then reopened. According to owner Jason Meadows, the fuel truck brought a full load which is approximately 7,800 gallons on Tuesday. Meadows stated to the PRESS that he has been informed of possible fuel allocations from his distributes who will decide the amount and locations of the gasoline dispension.
Hurricane Ike did in fact hit the Texas coast Friday night and caused massive damage and affected pipelines and refineries that supply fuel to locations throughout the southeast.
With the refineries having shut down, fuel supplies may be infrequent for a few weeks until inventory can be replenished.
After the devastating damages to pipelines and refineries from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it took several months to get production going again.
Hopefully, we have seen the worst of the damaging storms caused from this year’s hurricane season which is supposed to end in November.
Pickett Countians need to be aware that fuel supplies here are adequate at this time, however its important that we maintain our normal usage if at all possible. When the availability of fuel is already low and demand rises due to panic, it will create even higher costs. At this time in Tennessee the average cost per gallon is $4.16 and might go even higher.
The best thing that we can do is to try and be conservative and patient during this temporary situation.