1sunfight’s Weblog

September 26, 2008

Atlanta Has No Gas

Over two weeks ago I watched Hurricane Ike march across Cuba, then start to make its way across the Gulf of Mexico toward the heart of the oil refineries in Texas. As an Atlantan who lived through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with its punishing damage to the gas lines that feed the southeastern United States, three days before Hurricane Ike struck I filled up my gas tank knowing that there would be a severe price spike, with the real possibility of a gas shortage. The night before Ike made landfall I decided to replace the small amount of gas I had burned in the three days since I filled up. The hurricane was looking as though it was going to do serious damage to the gas lines and I remember the gas shortages after Hurricane Katrina. After Katrina it was hard to find gas, as time passed it got so bad that I could barely find gas anywhere, but I could still find gas every day, not that I needed it every day, but it was available. It took a month before Atlanta’s gas supply returned to normal, but then it would take a while to repair damaged pipelines, so a person could expect that.

As it turned out Hurricane Ike was not as bad as was anticipated, with no damaged to the gas pipelines, just turn them back on and in a few days things will return to normal. This is one time I have to admit I was wrong.

I did not give gas a second thought for over a week after the hurricane struck Houston. I did not need to; I had a tank full of gas that could last a while. I drove to and from my job past two gas stations that were out of gas beginning the day after the hurricane made landfall and past a third that I thought I remembered always having gas after Hurricane Ike. It was eight days later and I went to a friend’s house. On my way there I drove past a gas station where I immediately knew there was a run  on gas going on. I made a face and wondered why. As I drove past it on my way back three hours later, I saw that it was closed. As I drove further I saw another gas station experiencing a run on gas at it. I went home, went to the city newspaper and a local television station to see if there was any news about gas in Atlanta. Sure enough, Atlanta is bone dry on gas. We are experiencing a gas shortage that is worse than what we experienced with Katrina.

Yesterday made two weeks since I filled up my gas tank and I was between a half full and a quarter full. It was time to start looking for gas. All three gas stations I drive by on my way to work were bone dry and the paper read that morning it would be another two weeks before the crisis would pass. I thought I would look around at the seven gas stations just to the south of my apartment, but there was no need to. Right after work I saw that the gas station near my job had gas, so I braved the forty minute line and got gas.

When I woke up this morning I read in the paper that the governor of Georgia said the gas shortage was the fault of Atlantans; it was self-induced. Right, Sonny, it was “self-induced” and so is bad, or more like, no planning self-induced. Sonny, you have lost your mind? There was a run on gas the day before and the day after Hurricane Ike, but that will not lead to a month long shortage. The gas lines were not damaged, they were shut down, which means a slowdown of gas reaching Atlanta. The rest of the country is swimming in gas; hell, they may even be bathing in it, but Atlanta no gas. Zero, zip, nada. Sonny, that is because of poor planning, and your attitude is beyond insensitive and condescending.

Sonny, just your trap and do your job, get gas to Atlanta.





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