Saturday, September 27, 2008

Did someone say crisis?

The cheapest I ever recall seeing gas was when I was in high school. Two gas stations on opposite corners had a “war.” And we, the public, were the beneficiaries. The price got as low as 43 cents – when the typically going rate for gas then hovered around a dollar a gallon. I remember adding to my tank in 5 dollar increments.

Naturally, gas prices increased over time. There was a short lived spike right after 9/11. But the steady increase in prices started about three years ago with Hurricane Katrina. That was the first time I saw gas over 3 dollars a gallon. Prices did go down – but it was short lived. And pretty soon, prices were higher than that first spike.

We started seeing signs like this – And the governor of our state even canceled school to save the money school buses burn every day via diesel fuel.

A few weeks ago after Hurricane Ike, there was another spike in gas prices – and we crossed the four dollar threshold.

Which generated signs like this: But now. People here in the South east would gladly pay four dollars a gallon. If we could only find a station with some for sale.

I was too young to pay attention to the gas crisis in the 1970’s. But I do remember the pictures. The pictures of those huge Buicks in line for gas. And I had a very retro moment on Friday night. We headed out to a restaurant for dinner – and we needed to try and find a gas station that wasn’t out of gas. We had no luck on the way there. But when we left – we found a station right away with gas. So, we got in line. There were 10 cars ahead of us for that one pump. At least the same number of cars in line for EACH pump – and I think there were 8-10 pumps at this particular station. Behind us – easily another 10 cars – plus more trying to turn in from the street. It took 2 hours for us to finally reach that pump. And because all the pumps were going…it took a full 15 minutes to fill our car with gas!

We were quite fortunate that we had a peaceful queue. There are a number of news reports about incidents of violence at stations – mostly due to frustrated customers and other customers accused of cutting in line.

Things are so bad here that there were even rumblings of canceling college football games. Which the governor declared “ridiculous.” However, fans were warned that if they can’t make it to the game and home on their tank of gas – they are likely to be stuck. And stuck for a while.

Today, we were out and about. Because I had a full tank. And this is what most stations look like.
And the ones with gas – have quite the queue. So…what about YOU? Is gas plentiful where you live? How much are you paying this weekend? What’s the least you recall paying for gas? Have you ever waited two hours in a line for anything?

post signature

Theme song: Rolling Stones - Jumpin Jack Flash (cause it's a gas, gas, gas...)

58 comments:

Twisted Fencepost said...

Yes, we have shortages and long lines. Police breaking up fights and directing traffic.
I think .79 per gallon is the lowest I remember. The only thing I remember waiting in line that long for is concert tickets.

Shannon said...

The 2nd pic you posted is great! WTF indeed!

The lowest I can remember is just under $1... back when I was in high school. I guess I don't remember anything earlier before I was driving and paying for gas myself.

And you could have so come up here to my neck of the woods to get these pics... this is what all the stations up here look like, too. There are even queues of people who are waiting at the station for the truck to deliver the gas.

Shannon said...

And I was wondering what "Jumpin' Jack Flash" had to do with your post... LOL! I get it now!

Elena said...

Okay....WHAT????!! I have not turned on the news for over a week, and I don't have clue what you're talking about. You're out of gas down there? Where have I been?! We have plenty here and the price is the lowest its been in a year. We're at $3.55 today, we were over $4 several weeks ago and had been there for quite some time. So seeing the number 3 is BEAUTIFUL! So strange that the same country can be so very different.

Lori said...

okay, had no clue there was a gas shortage...am I living under a rock

her in CA, where verything is an arm and a leg, and sometimes your firstborn, I saw where gas is at 3.57...a bargain for these parts! We were WELL over 4 bucks for over half the summer. Sad when 3-something is considered a good deal! Ugh!

Hope things improve for you all!

Jacki McHale said...

YIKES! We are at $3.65 as of today, still got gas in the Chicagoland Suburb.

I stood in line for the Batman ride at Great America, back when Jack Nickolson was the Joker!

Either way, we have no lines for gas, and I did know about it, it's just not up here...yet...

GBK Gwyneth said...

I don't want to come home!!!

Jen said...

Wow, I can't imagine. Gas prices are actually getting better here, under the $4 mark. There is no one waiting in line as far as I know.
This is just terrible. I hope it gets better soon. I do have to ask, why? Why is it so bad in the south. Do you guys need special gas? Isn't the north gas any good?

The lowest the I remember gas, the summer after I turned 16 was $0.89 per gallon. Now those were the days.

texcindy said...

cancel college football? maybe that's what happened to Georgia yesterday. because for a while it looked like the team had not shown up.
in TX we have pretty much gas. go figure. but before the last 3 hurricanes (Katrina, Rita, Ike)the lines have been pretty bad here. before Rita i waited about 1 hour 45 minutes. and then 2 hours in Walmart. and it was my birthday.
now that georgia has no gas, do you have more time to blog?

texcindy said...

gas here is 3.26. I don't know what's wrong with you people in georgia. I"m just sayin.

John Deere Mom said...

That is so crazy! I've read a few blogs this weekend about the gas shortage in the south. I had no idea. None. We are paying about $3.79 right now which is lower than it has been in weeks. No shortage that I know of. I can remember paying $1.15 for gas when I first started driving...seems like ages ago.

Shannon said...

You know, you would think someone (oil/gas companies) would have prepared for this... I mean, its not like we didn't know Ike was coming. Why can't we get gas from elsewhere... seems like other parts of the country are not having any problems.

Kat said...

Thanks for all the comments! And guess what - cnn.com has linked to this post. How cool is that?

We are having a shortage here for a number of reasons. One is that we are on the pipeline for gas from the Texas/Louisiana area. So, other parts of the country were not as effected by Ike.

Secondly, Atlanta has to have certain additives or something added to our gasoline due to pollution here. And that slows down our delivery.

From what I hear on the news - we are looking at this shortage/crisis continuing for at least another week - and probably longer than that...

Susie said...

Gas is plentiful here and we paid $3.65/gallon. 15 year ago when I started my 500 mile trip to get my oldest daughter, it took $10 to fill a 10 gallon tank. Now, it costs $40!! 4 times as much!! And, I only waited 2 hours in line for concert tickets.

Rhea said...

OMG, I can't believe the lines and lack of gas.

We don't have that problem here in Texas. Plenty of gas and it's under $4.

I can't imagine this. It really sees surreal to me.

Rhea said...

CNN linked to your post?! OMG, you're like famous now. I'm so impressed. That's awesome, Kat!

Rhea said...

And those WTF? And ARM and a LEG signs are hilarious.

texcindy said...

solution is simple. move to san antonio. or just visit until the shortage is over.

Jill said...

Lines like that are very normal here... as are days when gas is nowhere to be found!

I have an old '92 Toyota Prado Land Cruiser - and it takes diesel fuel. Oddly enough diesel is inexpensive here... and I pay less than $3 a gallon. Which is great considering I fill it up twice a week!

Debbie said...

Like I told you in my email, we don't have a shortage and gas is about $3.65 for reg unleaded. I can't remember how low gas has ever been...it just seemed like it was at or below a buck for so long. Unbelievable what you are having to live through.

Tiffany said...

Kat,

I was going to post about this same thing today! My hubby had two employees on Friday who were unable to come to work due to the inability to find gas. My hubby went to 9 gas stations on Friday before finding one that had fuel. And we lucked out yesterday when leaving soccer. We happened upon a fuel tanker truck pulling in to the BP station. We hurried up and followed him in and sat at the pump until he filled the underground tanks up. Apparently, others were following him on the highway because within seconds, the entire parking lot and street in front of the gas station was full. We did pay $3.99 which is average for our county right now. But yes, it is insane and rather frightening.

Tiffany said...

And a link to CNN? Wow, you are the celebrity now! That's awesome. ;)

Tiffany said...

And I forgot to answer your question about waiting in long lines - I have waited in long lines for roller coaster rides and concert tickets in the past. I remember waiting overnight for Bon Jovi tickets back in the day. I have waited for hours on the day after Christmas for certain sale items at Best Buy (won't be doing that EVER again) and most recently, the girls and I waited over 2 hours to meet Demi Lovato.

sassy stephanie said...

Wow. We are right in the path of Ike, north of Houston. We actually saw prices coming down, of course after power was back up and pumps were working again. We are seeing prices hover around $3.30.

Remember when 5 bucks of gas was ALOT of money and you could go on it all week!!??

Brian and Staci said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!! Wow! No...we do not have lines like that AT ALL!! I've never seen such a thing. We actually got gas today and paid $3.29. Yikes Kat! I'm so sorry...if you decide to move to OK...we could be neighbors though :) The only thing I think I've stood in line for for 2 hours was The Buzz Lightyear ride at Magic Kingdom...that was before the "Fast Pass!" Maybe you guys need a fast pass for gas stations :)

Karen said...

OUCH !!!!

No, we don't have lines and gas is around $3.57 a gallon.

I think tat the owest I can recall paying for petrol(gas) is back in NZ and it was well under a $1 a litre.

I waited in line for ages to get tickets to see The Beatles, years ago ...

Firefly mom said...

Well, out here in Oregon I there's no shortage. And to throw salt in that wound for ya', gas is now down to $3.35, which is the lowest it's been in quite a while!

The lowest I can remember paying for gas was when we lived outside of Phoenix about 10 years ago. At one point gas was 78 cents a gallon.

God I miss those days!

Firefly mom said...

Oh, and the last thing I waited 2 hours to get was my epidural, which they screwed up on and it didn't even work! But I'm not bitter *snort*

Lauren Horsley said...

Wow. Yet another thing to hit my knees and be grateful for. There are no lines here. Plenty to get us around. And we paid 3.53 yesterday.
So much we take for granted, right? Hang in there.

Heather said...

That's so cool that CNN linked to your blog. Pretty soon you'll be the guest on Regis and Kelly and The View...

Here in Ohio, gas is about $3.79 a gallon, and all the stations seem to have plenty. Although after our windy version of Hurricane Ike, there were lines a mile long because lots of stations didn't have power (for about a week). So I feel your pain (a little).

Hope it gets better soon! BTW, I'm so excited to be part of the Favorite Things swap. Working on my package today.

Suzanne said...

I'm old enough to remember being in those gas lines in the 70's. We have plenty of gas here in northern Illinois. On our recent trip it seems that there was a bit of a panic in small town Missouri.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

Lula! said...

Here's what I'm going to say:

The Governor of Georgia is a family friend of ours. Seriously. I graduated with his 2nd daughter. Mama taught all 4 of his kids. We campaigned for him when he first ran for state senate back in the early 90's (as a Democrat--you're shocked, right?!?). He's a fellow Warner Robinsian (is that a word?) and a fellow UGA-lover/grad.

Having mentioned all of this, I must confess...it doesn't surprise me one teeny tiny bit that he'd cancel school but not the GA or GA Tech football games. Did I mention he's from Warner Robins?

'Nuff said.

p.s. We have gas...$3.89. Come up here and fill your tank. Well, that would defeat the purpose, I guess.

EmBee said...

I was staying in Acworth when I was down there a week and a half ago. We saw a couple of stations with lines but managed to get right in to a busy station which only had regular unleaded.

I can't imagine many things more frustrating than having to wait 2 hrs. for a fill up. So sorry you're having to go through this. Here in Maryland everything is fine *knocking wood* and we're paying roughly $3.47 a gallon on Reg. Unleaded.

Keeping my fingers crossed your crisis ends soon!
:-)

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Mama Dawg said...

I live in MS and we're not having that problem at all. Right around Ike, my local Shell ran out but had gas the next morning. We're hovering around $3.52 right now.

SKELLER said...

Wow! CNN?? I'll be able to say I knew you when.... :-)

Yikes, those lines totally hearken back to the 70s (I still remember those nasty lines. and the prices. and the "you can only get gas on MW or F if your license plate ends with an odd number or letter A-L...)

I can remember gas being as low as $.75 when I was in my freshman year of college. It was appreciated, considering I was frequently driving back & forth between Southern & Northern Cal.

Brandy said...

We had a spike like that right after Ike but it was short lived...just over the weekend. Prices haven't come all the way down but we're at 3.55-3.69/gallon versus 3.99-4.79 when we had the "shortage".

Personally I think it was a bunch of bullcrap for us. Several surrounding areas did not see any ill effects at all. It was more because of false rumors and neighboring stations "adjusting" to each other than anything. Only one station actually ran out of gas yet they were all raising prices.

It's crazy.

Aleta said...

During Katrina and Gustave, the only gas available, according to the stations was "premium" so you PAID dearly for the gas, that you needed - to get out and get out fast. It's always before and after a hurricane that we have the gas shortages.

Which is why I find it so odd that other folks are having gas shortages now? I think this is a game that gasoline companies are playing. They KNOW that people are decreasing the vacation travels and trips to the stores, etc. The demand for gas decreased, so the price increased. It seems to me that the gas stations are creating a "need" when there isn't a demand, by playing with people's minds! Well, that's my theory.

Aleta said...

Oh and the average is about 3.30 - 3.50 and no lines.

jennifersusan said...

Wow! That is just crazy! I try not to buy gas, if I can help it. We do have plenty of it, as far as I know. There is a station a block away and it was just under $4 so I'm pretty happy about that. I can remember, when my boys were young, paying right around .50 a gallon for gas. Ahhh...those were the days.
Well, after reading your blog I am definately more appreciative for the gas and prices we have here.

Merrie said...

Hey, long time no see!

Wow, I can't believe what you all are dealing with! Out here in the Bay area of CA, we don't have any issues -- just still paying more than we like. (Though it is better.) I filled up at Safeway yesterday for $3.59/gallon. That's with the 10 cent discount.

I hope things get better for you very soon!

Scary Mommy said...

It's all unbelievable! I recall .89$ gas. It seems like eons ago.

Solei said...

omg! that sucks!!!

Luckily, we have gas here and it's about $3.43 or something like that. Scary that I know think that's pretty cheap, compared of course to how it was about a month ago!
=0D

Jennifer P. said...

My sweet conservative (! :) ) talk show hosts have been talking about how this was going to happen in that part of the country for quite a while now. How awful!!! The answers are so simple as to how to solve this problem, but we have so mired ourselves down in politics it seems that common sense just can't get through anymore.

I hope it gets solved----and fast! I'm certain the rest of the country is next!

Gas is about 3.95 a gallon here--and there seems to be plenty of it....for now.

Have I ever waited 2 hours? I think once to use the bathroom at a concert :)!

Jennifer P. said...

CNN?!?! How cool are you Kat! Watch out news-loving people of America---Kat tells it like it is!

* TONYA * said...

OMG, I can't believe the shortage and the lines. That's out of control

Cristin said...

I keep reading about people dealing with this...I just can't imagine.. Here in the northeast, we haven't (fingers crossed) had this problem...

I hope it gets better for you soon...

Karen said...

So have you had anyone comment on this, that read it on CNN ?

Insane Mama said...

Really? Wow, it's not too bad here. Ca. we have plenty. and the price is 3.67 a gallon

Teri said...

Oh hell no, we still have no gas. When Doug actually found 10 gallons of gas on Friday, it was $4.39/gallon. And I can honestly say I have waited MANY hours in line for something...good. Like concert tickets back in the day. Before TicketBastard got into the act. And let people buy up all the seats in the first 4 minutes. Oh, and I remember waiting for 8 hours to get a stupid car tag when I was first married to the idiot ages ago - because he was too lazy to get the tag himself.

My, I'm sounding a little cranky, eh? :-)

Teri said...

Oh, and I forgot to say that I got gas for .79/gallon when I was in high school. Yeah, back when George Washington crossed the Delaware.

Angie's Spot said...

Gas was pretty easy to find until yesterday. Now, more stations are without than I've ever seen. It's kind of scary. Regular unleaded is going for $3.89/gallon right now. I can recall paying around $1/gallon in high school, which now seems preposterous. And I don't recall ever waiting in line 2 hours for anything. But they say that the mind is the first thing to go. LOL!

JourneytoFamily said...

I think I actually snorted with laughter when I saw your second gas sign!

Over the weekend, we filled up and only paid $3.65/gallon. It was almost like they were giving it away!

Rhea said...

I thought about you today when I got gas. I filled up at my grocery store pump...and I had earned 30 cents a gallon discount! So, I only paid $3.29 a gallon today! Woohoo! That helps when I'm filling up my gas guzzler.

Jenny said...

I love the gas price signs.

Rhea said...

Last night, when we were in Denison, Texas (a tiny town way north, almost to Oklahoma!) we found gas for $3.17 a gallon!

And today, in my town, it's $3.46 or so. Isn't that awesome?

I'm still in shock you guys are having this shortage. I just can't believe it. I would send you gas if I could...

Nissa said...

I loved your pics of the 'prices'! We almost saw a violent moment at the Costco gas station this past weekend. The pumps are one way, you can't drive thru and turn around & this keeps the line flowing easily. One van pulled up, did just that, and the attendant told the driver he couldn't do that. The man started yelling "Yes I can, I can do whatever I want! I'm getting my gas!" The attendant tried to calmly explain the rule and the reasoning behind it, but the man just yelled "I'm not moving! What're you gonna do about it??!" He kept repeating it, like he wanted a fight. In the middle of this, his wife got out (to do what, I don't know) and the kids in the back were moving around restlessly. I gasped and asked Michael, "Can you believe he's acting like that- in front of his CHILDREN?" The attendant then left (hopefully to alert the Costco management). I hope that guy got his Costco membership revoked! It was kind of scary!

Rhea said...

Gas is so low now...and no one talks about it. The cost has been divided in half here. It's amazingly low. So low I'm scared it's too good to be true.