Fuel shortage 2016: Atlanta, Raleigh, Nashville, Asheville stations running out of gas

Published 5:54 pm Sunday, September 18, 2016

Stations across the south in cities including Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville and Raleigh are seeing gas stations without gas Sunday due to the Colonial Pipeline leak and the fuel shortage is expected to get much worse in major cities this week.

Lines formed at gas stations across the South on Saturday including Atlanta and drivers who were able to find fuel had to pay more for it in some cases, as prices edged up following a pipeline spill in Alabama.

By late Sunday multiple Atlanta area gas stations were out of fuel and those stations that did have gas were charging as much as $2.49 a gallon near busy Interstate highway, sharply higher than prices were days before (about $2.09).

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One driver making his way back from Saturday’s Alabama-Ole Miss game said told The Eagle he stopped in Atlanta late Sunday afternoon near the Six Flags exit for gas and the first two stations he stopped at were out.

Stations out of fuel aren’t expected to get more gas until midweek. As one of the largest cities in the South Atlanta’s shortage is a rising concern issue at next week’s workweek begins.

Reports were also coming in Sunday about stations being out of gas in Asheville and Raleigh in North Carolina. The entire I-95 corridor could be impacted with hurricane-like fuel outages within a day or two, impacting commutes and sending prices much higher.

Fuel supplies in at least five states — Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas — were threatened by the spill, and the U.S. Department of Transportation ordered the company responsible to take corrective action before the fuel starts flowing again.

Colonial Pipeline Co. must conduct testing and analysis on the failed section of the pipeline, according to the U.S. Transportation Department, which is investigating the spill in rural Alabama.

The company has acknowledged that between 252,000 gallons and 336,000 gallons of gasoline leaked from a pipeline near Helena, Alabama, since the spill was first detected Sept. 9. It’s unclear when the spill actually started.

Drivers in Atlanta found some pumps completely dry or they had to pay 20 cents more because, according to a sign on the pump, the gas had to be pulled from Savannah.

“I just came in to town so this is shocking to me,” said Gina Dorman, as she filled up her nearly empty tank. She said she tried to get gas at several pumps at the service station before finding one that had gas flowing.