Gas is in short supply throughout the Southeast this week after oil production was hit hard by hurricanes Gustav and Ike, the Washington Post reports. Some didn’t make it to work as gas station lines grew to 60 cars long; half the stations in Atlanta were closed. “I drove past 9 or 10 gasoline stations that were out of gas,” said a Charlotte worker. Two major petroleum pipeline continue to operate well under capacity.
As of Wednesday, 63% of Gulf of Mexico production, and 5 refineries, remained closed, the Energy Department said. Those refineries produce some 5% of US gas supplies. Officials worried that panic buying could worsen the situation, and Georgia’s governor angered some by calling drivers’ fears partially “self-induced.” But “we do think that production availability will normalize in the next several weeks,” said a Shell spokeswoman.