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Gas Shortage Leaves Stations In Limbo
A fuel shortage forces some gas stations to stop selling. Several say they've been running on fumes lately.
"As soon as we opened this morning, everyone was trying to get gas," says Andela Conner of Quality Plus in Leicester.
The high demand is spurred by lower supply at some local gas stations. Hotspot and Ingles pumps have also been affected.
"We were out of gas yesterday night," Conner tells us. "And we were out until late last night and didn't get a shipment until late after we closed. "
Down the road, the manager at Hotspot on New Leicester Highway says they've also been low since Thursday and ran out for a couple of hours on Friday.
"I got a full tank yesterday," says customer Ralph Roberts. "Because I was afraid they were gonna run out."
Meanwhile, the price sign at the Leicester Ingles is blank, fueling frustration and speculation.
"We definitely would like to know, why is there a shortage, why can't we get gas?" asks Mike Schrader of Asheville.
According to Ingles, the changeover from summer blend gasoline to winter blend may have lead to the available supply going elsewhere, to places where profit margins are better.
Ingles CFO Ron Freeman released a statement:
"As you noted, we are aware of spot outages affecting other stations and us. We are doing everything we can to get supply in as quickly as we can, but supply issues will not be completely resolved today. Demand has increased since August and because of the high volume of what we pump, we can (in some cases) run out earlier than others."
In Leicester, some motorists have to look harder to find fuel these days. George Rice of South Asheville is miffed he can't fill up at Ingles.
"I just got my Ingles card, fifty dollars worth, and I can't get no gas," Rice says.
By John Le
Follow John on Twitter @AbsoluteLe