Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Brother, can you spare a gallon?

On the eve of the landing of Hurricane Ike I checked the tanks in all our cars to make sure we had plenty of gas. I added 10 gallons to the Jeep that night anticipating that we might have shortages as we did the week after Hurricane Katrina. Well the shortages didn't appear right away. Last week most stations had fuel although the prices were a bit higher.

Saturday morning while driving my daughter to ballet class, I noticed that one station had only regular. I didn't think much of it at the time. When we were out shopping and dining that evening I overheard a conversation where someone mentioned that he had passed many stations that were closed. On the way home we passed by 6 stations and only one had gas. It was premium grade and people were lined up to grab it. After dropping off the rest of the family I went out to fill up the one car that was on empty. Of three stations I checked only one had fuel: premium grade. My wife needed a full tank to start a week of commuting, so I filled it up. On Sunday every station I saw was empty. Yesterday afternoon I passed by 5 stations and only found one with gas. I was driving the Jeep and it was below 1/4, so I filled it up.

Today there is some good news. The Kroger near our house has been empty and closed since Saturday, but this morning it was open and pumping. Not surprisingly there were lines. Short, but probably a 10 minute wait. I drove by 4 other stations to check on them and only one had fuel. So we are not out of the woods yet, but we do seem to be getting new truckloads. I've seen reports of people following tankers to stations so they can fill up, and reports of people running out of gas while waiting in line. I've heard reports of lines exceeding an hour. I haven't seen any of that personally, but I I have seen plenty of empty stations. We are set until Friday, and I'm hoping that things will have improved by then.

But if you want to ship us a few gallons of gas, I won't object.

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