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Fueling America

Gas shortage leads to fights, threatens college football in South

  • Story Highlights
  • Gas shortages following Hurricane Ike are still plaguing the Southeast
  • CNN affiliates report on angry drivers and station owners with nothing to sell
  • Gas is so short that the Georgia-Alabama game should be delayed, one exec says
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(CNN) -- Gas shortages are afflicting drivers across the Southeast. Some of the problems were caused by Hurricane Ike affecting oil production and refining along the Gulf Coast, but empty gas pumps also are being blamed on the consumers themselves.

CNN affiliates are reporting on the effects of the shortages that have caused many gas stations to shut down and many drivers to become frustrated.

Asheville, North Carolina
City officials in Asheville have closed the civic center, parks and offices because of the gas shortage, CNN affiliate WHNS-TV reports.

Police also are monitoring stations that do have gas after reports of fights at pumps between drivers accusing each other of cutting in line.

"It's been a nightmare for everybody," one driver, who found gas Thursday, told the station. Read WHNS report on how the shortage is affecting North Carolina

Athens, Georgia
A petroleum executive suggested that the football game between the University of Georgia and University of Alabama should be canceled this weekend because fans could drain all the gas in the Athens area, WSB-TV in Atlanta reported.

"That gas needs to be used for people to go to work, and for people to take care of their families," Tex Pitfield, president and CEO of Saraguay Petroleum in Atlanta, told WGAU radio in Athens. Video Watch an iReporter's take on the gas shortage in Georgia »

But representatives of Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue said he would not consider "a ridiculous idea like this," WSB said. Read WSB's report on what others are saying about gas and the game

Atlanta, Georgia
Ray Sheffied's gas station had been open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 13 years. But the streak ended when a lack of supply forced him to close early, WGCL-TV in Atlanta said.

"It's a panic," Sheffield said. "And we are frustrated."

The fuel shortage is really hurting independent gas station owners, WGCL said. Many of those small businesses rely on the income from customers stopping in to buy snacks, drinks and other items with their gas, it added. Read WGCL on how gas stations are hurting around the Southeast

Charlotte, North Carolina
Drivers camped out overnight in the hope that a shipment of gas would arrive at a station in Charlotte, WSOC-TV found.

Other drivers felt trapped at home, fearing that their gas tanks would run dry on the way to or from work.

"This is it; I'm stuck," Shana Roseborough told the station. "I can't go get my child, I can't go get my husband, I can't provide for my family." Read WSOC's report on drivers searching for gas

Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley promised that more gas was on the way from other states, but WXII-TV found many stations dry or with only one or two grades of fuel left.


Easley had asked drivers to conserve fuel until the new supplies arrived and the situation returned to normal, but some consumers remain concerned.

"No gas. What will we do? We won't be able to do anything. We can't go to work. We can't do anything," one driver said. Read WXII report on when the governor said gas would arrive

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