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The South Needs Some Serious Gas Relief After Hurricanes

Fallout from Hurricane Ike and Gustav has spiraled into massive gas shortages in the Southeast. Drivers in Nashville, TN, where the problem is the worst, wait in long lines and some follow tankers around in hopes of being the first to fill up before a station goes dry.

In western North Carolina local governments have been forced to cancel programs, since there's not much gas to travel to activities. One city canceled athletic events, and another county has limited all municipal travel to emergency vehicles for the past few weeks. Many workers in the region have been told to work four 10-hour days, or telecommute.

In Atlanta, one of the nation's largest commuter cities, many stations have run out of gas, and they have no idea when more will come. Once residents find a station with fuel, they often must dole out $5 a gallon, and wait in 40-car lines. What would you do if your city ran out of gas?





Join The Conversation
LoveSarah LoveSarah 8 years
I live in Florida. When a storm comes, you fill up your gas tank. Because I remember in 2004 when all those Hurricanes hit my area we had no gas for what seemed like forever! But, then you only drive if you have to, and that is it. I wish we had public transportation here. It is seriously almost non existent. I think it really only goes to the airport from a couple of different pick up places around town. Which, doesn't help anyone, since there really isn't much by the airport! Luckily my fiance and I are moving to Portland, OR soon, and their public transportation seems much, much better. I can't wait to be able to walk to work, or walk to the bus stop, or whatever. I hate driving my car every where!
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
I feel sorry for people having to deal with this, especially when they have no choice in the type of transportation they have. I lived 33 years in Texas as utterly dependent on my car. Now, understand, I LOVE driving. Austin never really had good buses or any alternatives. As such, I had never been in a train, a bus, a tram or a subway until the UK, where I rode them all at some point or another. In Edinburgh the buses are particularly awesome, safe, dependable, and not expensive. Let me tell you - I can only WISH people had those options when I was in the states. That so many cities do NOT have them will start to bite people now, unfortunately. It could have been avoided. The buses here in Finland are very pleasant, a bit pricier but when I compare it to cars and gas there is NO comparison, especially when the long winters hit and the last thing you feel like dealing with is a car. Private companies run them, so its no impact on our taxes either. I wish my friends back in the states had these same options.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
That's just outrageous! People shouldn't be allowed to charge what they want for the property that they own. It just makes me sick.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
I understand what you mean, but he's going after stations that where charging more than $1 more per gallon than the average rate. Some were charging around $5.79/gal. on stretches of roads where there are few stations, when the average was $4.29/gal.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Jules, I think you hit the nail on the head with this "price gouging" thing. Always glad to see another Libertarian.
Jules1976 Jules1976 8 years
Mesayme - what I mean by there is no such thing as price gouging in a free market is that it's a bogus term. It's a political phrase. Businesses are prosecuted for price gouging, but in my view, that's an example of the government stepping in when it shouldn't. The market will regulate itself if left unattended. It really does boil down to supply and demand. (I'm a Libertarian if you couldn't tell.) 'Just wanted to clarify my earlier statement. Thanks...
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 8 years
wow that is so weird how this works, i live in san antonio, texas and the gas here is at 3.39 the cheapest in a year, there are always people at the gas stations we are not used to it that low
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
"In a free market, there is no such thing as "price-gouging," by the way." I wish that were true but in SC Attorney General Henry McMasters is prosecuting gas gougers from a couple weeks ago.
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
I'm in central OK (Norman). There isn't much by way of gas shortages here... but we did get prices raised for a few days. It was 3.19 and then in two-four days it jumped to 3.69 ... a few days later it dropped and it is back at 3.19 here. As it was falling the first time I kept waiting to get gas and then it jumped back up and I was really bummed ... so I just decided to wait some more and luckily I did b/c it fell again and I was able to get it "cheap".
amybdk amybdk 8 years
Wow. This practically unbelievable! Gas here is $3.59. And isn't it amazing that this is "cheap"?!
JennaV JennaV 8 years
Dream, I will be catching a ride with my mom and taking Marta down to the airport tomorrow to go to work.
Jules1976 Jules1976 8 years
Not to be the bringer of bummer economics, but most of the time, shortages are caused by the public and not the actual supply chain. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy: there is a hurricane/storm/whatever coming and people are afraid there will be a shortage. Everyone (not literally but as a generalization) runs out and stocks up on whatever it was, gas or any other item, whether they need it right then or not. The result is an actual shortage when there would not have been one before. In a free market, there is no such thing as "price-gouging," by the way. I'm not saying the situation doesn't stink and we shouldn't find alternatives, but it is something to think about.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
KEG...your right. There aren't any buses in southern suburbia. Oh yeah, even the public schools are making us pay for the gas for field trips!!
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
I'm in one of those 'running out of gas' I'll tell you what we do. Combine trips, carpool, NO lawn mowing and stay home! A LOT! Stuff we should be doing anyway really. But yeah, it's really scary when you rely on gas to get to work. Most people in my town drive 50 miles away to their jobs. And motocycles and scooters are out of the question because almost everyone has children. Thanks 'W'! :IRK:
stephley stephley 8 years
At some point, people might want to get serious and learn about public transportation - all signs point to things get more difficult before they work themselves out.
cine_lover cine_lover 8 years
:wave: Hi 2M!
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
I remember the shortages of the 70's. Sitting in long gas lines, not being able to attend activities for scouts and such. It sucked, and my prayers are with those suffering through this crisis. It's amazing how much we take our transportation for granted until it's gone. I love my car, I don't know what I'd do if I had to depend on public transportation.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Tee hee. Serious Gas Relief.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Here in Gainesville Florida Gas is 3.79 and i didnt have to wait thank goodness.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
Cine! It's been a while...hope you're doing better! It would take me about 5 hours to get to work on the bus if we ran out of gas...and it would be just about impossible for me to work from home. So, I guess I'd have find a bike route and get a LOT of exercise if that happened here!
dreamsugar dreamsugar 8 years
OH -- my -- that's insane. What do you do for gas - JennaV?
cine_lover cine_lover 8 years
I live in Nashville, and the local gas station gets the gas in at 3:00 am and is sold out by 5:00 pm the same day. It is insane here. There are very very few stations with gas right now. It was suppose to be better this week, but there have been no changes as of yet. I guess only time will tell.
JennaV JennaV 8 years
I can live in Atlanta and can attest to the fact that this is widespread throughout the entire metro area. Every gas station I have passed since yesterday has been out of gas.
KEG KEG 8 years
i'm not saying that living so far away from where you work is a good idea at all but, in my area, these people are just happy to have a job (or a house). i guess the mortgage problems and unemployment are really helping out with this problem... i have noticed a lot of families moving in to my apartment complex from houses (and presumably my apt complex right in the middle of town is closer to things than their house was).
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
jobs/housing balance, folks - it's no joke!
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