CommunityPam's House Blend

Foraging for gas in the Bull City

Been out a bit today, running errands in an efficient way to conserve gas. One of the missions today was to fill up both cars, as supplies are dwindling here in Durham. This is what we came across…

* Sam’s Club: closed, out of gas. Kate has passed it on Thursday, I think, and the lines were wrapped around the lot.

* Kroger on MLK near Hope Valley Farms: open, but only has 93 (regular and midgrade zeroed out).

* This AM I filled up my Ford Focus station wagon at a Texaco on the corner of Hwy 55/54 near Research Triangle Park, which was $3.19/gallon and had a $35 limit.

* There was a Citgo further down on Hwy 55 that we passed this AM that was open, but no one was there since the place was a price-gouging $3.57.

* This evening, Kate filled up the Subaru Outback wagon at an Exxon on Hwy 55 and Cornwallis Rd, for $3.29. That station was out of 93 grade. Saw a guy filling up his truck and he had a container to fill up as well. At that intersection there were two other gas stations (Texaco and Phillips 66) and both were out of gas.

Strangely, the Durham Herald-Sun, in today’s edition, claims that the supply is growing, which doesn’t match the reality I’m seeing. More stations are dry than yesterday; so this may just be a delivery problem.

From all reports, it seemed the Triangle’s gas situation should be improving on Friday.

The two companies that ship nearly all of North Carolina’s gasoline were supplying about 72 percent of the state’s normal capacity on Friday morning, up from 53 percent the day before. Shipments from Colonial Pipeline Co. and Plantation Pipe Line Co. could hit 87 percent of normal this weekend.

But the local supply terminal in Apex has been out of gas since Thursday morning, with new shipments not expected until tonight at the earliest, Fonville said. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better because we’re so far behind,” he said.

Gov. Mike Easley on Friday requested that the U.S. Department of Energy redirect tankers with surplus gas in the Northeast to North Carolina. Other countries also can export extra gasoline to the United States, said Michael Walden, a regional economist at N.C. State University.

In the end, if the gas were to run out, I could bike to work on the American Tobacco Trail, but there are no showers at work, lol. It’s a little over nine miles, and it’s still freaking dangerously hot when I’d be coming home. Kate, on the other hand, really doesn’t have a choice – she works in Raleigh, which is about 26 miles away plus she has to drive around Wake County as part of her job.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding