Tuesday Update on the Gas Shortage in High Country: Normal Several Days Away

Published Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 5:22 pm
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The Speedway on N.C. 105 is out of gas on Tuesday afternoon. Photos by Ken Ketchie

By Jesse Wood

The gas shortage related to the Colonial Pipeline leak in Alabama continues in Boone, the greater High Country and Southeast.

Last night at about 11 p.m. just about all of the gas stations in and around Boone were out of fuel except for the Kangaroo, which had a line of folks waiting to get the only premium fuel that was around, according to Monday evening shift report from a deputy with the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office.

If you do find a gas station that has fuel, that’s likely to change. GasBuddy.com created a new website that instead of tracking prices, which is the company’s flagship service, via motorists, it tracks whether or not a station has fuel.

The Speedway on N.C. 105 is out of gas on Tuesday afternoon. Photos by Ken Ketchie

The Speedway on N.C. 105 is out of gas on Tuesday afternoon. Photos by Ken Ketchie

However, all of the stations in the Boone area that have been updated within the past hour on Tuesday afternoon are out of fuel. While stations that haven’t been updated in several hours, do have fuel.

In the latest update on Tuesday, Gov. Pat McCrory said that while Colonial Pipeline has completed construction and positioning of the bypass pipeline at the leakage point, North Carolina’s normal fuel delivery supply chain won’t return to normal for several days.

“The governor said his primary focus remains ensuring that our first responders have sufficient fuel to do their jobs. The governor said that several counties in North Carolina have been reporting intermittent fuel outages or low supplies, but that many of the outages are due to people topping off their tanks and extra fill ups,” according to the release from the governor’s office.

On Monday afternoon, Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford said he was aware of several gas stations that were out of gas. He added that his department was in “conservation mode,” engaging in more bicycle and foot patrol than normal and where possible.

“We are in conservation mode because we don’t know what it means for us later in the week. We are taking every opportunity to save fuel and without risking the ability to do our job,” Crawford said.

As for gas prices, those have steadily increased since the major leak was discovered by a Alabama inspector on Sept. 9. A week ago, a gallon of gas cost about $2.05 in the state, according to AAA Fuel Gauge. Yesterday, a gallon of cost about $2.17, and today the state average costs about $2.20.

Several gas stations in Boone are listing at $2.06 on GasBuddy.com. The Carolina Petro in Boone has a listing for $2.15. Meanwhile gas stations in Blowing Rock range from $2.08 to $2.21, and Banner Elk ranges from $2.14 to 2.21. These prices are all updated at various times within the past 24 hours.

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