Desperate Atlantans Use Twitter To Find Gas

There’s a gas shortage in Atlanta, GA, so consumers are using Twitter to help each other find gas. They’re tagging their posts #atlgas whenever they spot some and letting others know the price and location, as well as tossing out requests for information. The tag was created by Tessa Horehled who writes the DriveAFasterCar blog.

#atlgas [search.twitter] (Thanks to Elizabeth!)

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  1. Roclawzi says:

    The irony of technology is getting pretty thick on this one. I hope no one waited until they were low on gas to look for gas!

  2. Yankees368 says:

    Now, is there a gas shortage in Atlanta because people THINK there is a shortage, and keep buying in unusual patterns…or is there actually a gas shortage?

    • Roclawzi says:

      @Yankees368: When was the last time you heard of a station being out of juice, even with unusual patterns?

      • thomas says:

        @Roclawzi: Resident Atlantan here. Tessa over at Drive A Faster Car (@tessa on Twitter) put this up on Twitter. She also posted a blog post about tools to help local residents find gas. [www.driveafastercar.com]

      • FLConsumer says:

        @Roclawzi: Gas stations run out of fuel quite regularly in Florida when a hurricane is approaching (unusual buying pattern). Forget getting any gas after the hurricane’s hit.

        To their credit, the fuel distributors have substantially improved their delivery system since the 2004 hurricane season. Now we see stations without gas for only hours rather than the days we’ve seen in the past.

        So far, haven’t seen any gas stations without fuel in Florida. I heard they’re out there, but haven’t seen them yet.

      • sponica says:

        @Roclawzi: I remember one winter in NH, where my gas station ran out of regular and mid-grade bc the fuel tankers couldn’t get through the ice sheets in boston harbor….granted he was an independent and not part of a national conglomerate

    • _catlike_ says:

      @Yankees368: Most stations have taken down their prices and only have gas sporadically. My husband spotted a station on his way to the subway last week that had gas, so he called me and I hightailed it down there before a line started to build. Fortunately, we only fill our car up every 3-4 weeks, so we hope we can wait it out.

      There are lines going out of the stations and down the street, blocking traffic. If your car requires premium gas, you may be out of luck. A friend of mine gave up on finding premium after a few days and went with regular instead.

    • duckduckem says:

      @Yankees368: Probably a little bit of both, but I will say that I passed 18 stations on Friday before finally finding one with gas, where I had to wait in line behind some 20 other cars before making it to the pump.

    • dripdrop says:

      @Yankees368:

      Honestly, I think it’s more of the former.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @Yankees368: I think the stations are having trouble recovering from the post-Ike freak out.

      Plus, according to this article: [www.wsbtv.com] the Gov. Sonny Perdue waited longer than other governors in the South to ask for help.

    • tdatl says:

      @Yankees368:

      it’s pretty bad. My car gets better than 30mpg in city driving, so I went a full week without looking. But this past weekend my fiancee and I decided to go out @ 4:00am Saturday on a quest for gas. We passed about 3 or 4 dozen gas stations in about 30 miles, finding two that had any at all.

      One had a line of about 40-50 cars waiting — this was 4:30am!! I guess a lot of other people had that idea. This particular station is one of the few in my area that’s had gas most of the time, and it always has enormous lines. The city or some agency has put up a sign indicating the road narrows, losing the right-hand lane of the highway it’s on, since it’s effectively been turned into a turn-lane into the station. Cops are stationed there to keep motorists from blocking shopping center entraces while waiting.

      The other had a much shorter wait, but the lines were growing quickly as I was there. And still — a wait at any gas place that time of the morning? Both were 16- or 20-pump Quik Trips.

      I’m sure panic has contributed, but there’s not nearly the gas coming thru the pipelines that there was. It took 10-12 days for the shortages to start because the gas takes that long to make it from Houston to Atlanta.

  3. James says:

    Big Oil is so disgusting. It was just on the news last night that they were “cutting production” to maximize profits.

    Haven’t we all suffered enough?

  4. EBounding says:

    This is why price controls suck. I’d imagine that “anti-gouging” laws are keeping the prices lower than they should be. If stations could price gas at say, $5+ a gallon, there would be plenty for everyone (if they could afford it). Plus it would discourage hoarding since there would be no perceived shortage. I’d rather have expensive fuel than no fuel at all.

  5. ct_price says:

    If anything twitter is not that great since it causes a run on the stations that have gas.

    As an Atlanta resident I would say it is likely that people are topping off tanks when they have an opportunity as well as refusing to drive with less than 1/2 a tank. Panic sets in when there is doubt and people think they won’t be able to fill up so they hop in line to fill up 1/3 of a tank. I have seen this happen numerous times…the gas station near me always seems to have gas and 2-3 people will come in the span of me filling up a full tank. The tanks don’t dispense that fast…they are topping off when they don’t even need it!

    I think the policy of several stations only letting people purchase $25 worth is likely a better way to keep the panicked under control. Not worth your time to wait 45 minutes for 5 gallons of gas.

    • duckduckem says:

      @ct_price: Also as an Atlanta resident, I don’t think Twitter is going to matter much. There already ARE runs on the stations that do have gas.

      • ct_price says:

        @duckduckem: indeed but this allows people to hone in on the target much more efficiently and guarantee a run. Not knowing would cause people to eventually only seek when they know it will be a fruitful search. A bulls-eye makes a target much easier to hit :)

    • Jon Mason says:

      @ct_price: Agree that most of this is being caused by EVERYBODY keeping their tanks above half-full – i have people near me at work worrying about it and talking about driving around at 3am to find gas… I ask em how much they have – “more than half a tank”… so just chill out and worry about it less, if you run out, you run out, its not the end of the world.

      Yeah and there should be a temporary ban on filling gas cans if you are also filling a vehicle.

  6. Technick says:

    Its pretty bad here in Atlanta. So bad that I didn’t go in to the office a couple of days last week due to not being able to find gas in my area (NE Atlanta). Work wasn’t too happy about it, but their is nothing I can do.

    On the news the other night, someone pulled a gun at a gas station after a argument erupted over who was next in line. Plus their has been numerous other reports of fights and arguments aswell.

    Only if all of the idiots that don’t need gas didn’t stop to “top off” their tanks and cut back on trips, this problem would be this bad.

    Oh and not to forget our jackass governor Sunny Purdue left the country over the weekend for a full week. He doesn’t want to be hassled with helping anybody here or applying for a EPA waiver for fuel.

  7. ep5760 says:

    @Yankees368
    It’s a real shortage down here because due to the really high levels of smog here, the EPA forces the metro-Atlanta area to use a special blend of fuel that has far less sulfur than the rest of the country. Just last week our governor got the EPA to temporarily waive this restriction so we could truck in fuel from up north.

    Unfortunately all of this is very slow getting to us, so in the 2 weeks to balance out the lack of fuel the special blend will most likely be back to full capacity coming from the Gulf Shore pipelines.

  8. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    People here are topping off when it’s unnecessary, and what really drives me nuts is that these people are also filling up 5 gallon jugs to take home with them.

    Fortunately I haven’t had to drive more than a few miles a day, but I actually am going to try to fill up now (down to a quarter of a tank)…

  9. TangDrinker says:

    @Technick: I sent in a similar article to the tip line here last week about what was going on in Charlotte, NC. There have been arrests for people pulling guns, getting in fist fights, etc. People sleep in their cars at stations, others are abandoning their cars on the side of the road because they’ve run out of gas.

    We’re still without gas at many stations, here, too. You do have some people hoarding gas, but most people are just normal folks who are on the verge of running out. And where you can find it – it’s $4.19 a gallon for regular.

  10. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    Also, the AAA South rep said it won’t be until around Oct 13 before we are back to normal…

  11. zentex says:

    it’s not just Atlanta that is having problems with gas quantities. Here in Augusta it was hella bad for the past 2 weeks or so…but it seems like it’s getting a bit better, but stations still sell out quick.

    some stations (murphy’s usa among others) are filling ALL the tanks with 87 octane. No choice for flavor. I have to chuckle a little, there is a gas shortage and yet prices kept going down, until sat/sun, they went back up 10 cents.

    Also, all last week the local news stations ran a story on “where to find gas”.

    damn the media-induced panic buying.

  12. JulesNoctambule says:

    (*adds another thing to the list of ‘Why I’m Glad I Left Atlanta’*)

    Only one station has closed here in Raleigh, NC that I’ve personally seen, and it’s one that’s usually pretty pricey compared to other stations nearby. Our favourite station is still open, pumping and charging about twenty cents less than its competitors.

  13. HonestNigerian says:

    we live in midtown and drove all the way to Woodstock to find gas. we only found one station and there was a long line. We finally found gas at the Cheveron a block from home. 14th and Spring Cheveron and there are no lines.

  14. FrankAdmetus says:

    If you live in NE Atlanta, why not ride the bus or the train to get to work.

    I’m in Jonesboro – a looooong walk to the bus to the airport, then a quick and easy train ride to Buckhead. I can’t imagine calling out, “no gas”.

  15. yaced says:

    I’m in Cobb but I drive a Disel VW thank god. I get the gas station all to myself.

  16. Maglet says:

    I don’t live in Atlanta and I’m nervous! What are the odds that a shortage will make it’s way up to the east coast? Ack.

    I can’t imagine that the soonest that things will be back to normal would be mid-October. That’s insane!

  17. innocentchild says:

    Twitter and it’s million and plus one uses…

  18. Jubilance22 says:

    I’m going to be in Atlanta this week for work…should I be deathly worried that I’m not going to find gas for my rental?

    • temporaryerror says:

      @Jubilance22:
      Ohh…that would suck. You’ll be forced to pay the $8/gallon or whatever plus the $50 “fuel surcharge” that the rental places charge when you don’t return the car at the same fuel level that it was at when you picked it up… I didn’t even think about that.

  19. levarien says:

    It’s a public safety hazard in the metro area now. Every major intersection has a line of cars in the right line waiting to get into a station, often, they are stacked in the middle of the intersection. I’ve personally seen 2 cars try to get out of those lines and nearly run into cars in the other lane.

  20. mrearly2 says:

    Most likely, it’s another artificially-created gas shortage, as in the ’70s. Big Oil (spelled Rockefeller, etc.) found a sure-fire way to gouge us, with fuel costs. Back then, they blamed it on the Arabs. But, the Arabs (OPEC) were told to raise the price of crude, and they complied; of course, we had to pay more…

  21. xphilter says:

    so I love how in the time of a ‘gas shortage’ someone is looking for premium gas…unless it is some exotic car, any car would be able to use regular–the ECU just de-tunes the engine to prevent knock….ey ey ey.

  22. SalilaAliquippa says:

    *sits back, pulls up chair, popcorn, watches America implode*

    Seriously though. Ever wonder that you might have to do something other than run round like headless chickens for a gas fix?

    Wah wah my car wont run anymore it just sits there doing nothing brain assplode