Back in July, the Times Free Press reported Chattanooga was the cheapest source of gas in America. This month, their headlines claim quite the opposite as Chattanooga suffers from limited quantities of unleaded gas.
In Alabama, on September 9, the stench of gasoline and oily gleam on a manmade retention pond, accompanied by surrounding dead vegetation, grabbed the attention of concerned state workers. These unnatural elements revealed a leak in a pipeline running from Houston to New York that supplies gas to the entire east coast.
The cause of the leak is unidentified. Between 252,000 to 336,000 gallons of gas spilled into the retention pond. This leak affects Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, causing gas shortages and a hike in prices.
A drive through downtown Chattanooga this past Monday night exposed many closed gas stations. Shortages were reported from Hixson Pike to Signal Mountain Road and Amnicola Highway to North Georgia.
Although the pipeline was shut down, a five hundred foot bypass was constructed to temporarily restore gas to lacking stations; however, shortages may still be a problem for the following days, and maybe until next week. Colonial Pipeline Co., responsible for the supply, warns the normal flow of gas will be inhibited until the faulty line is properly restarted and fully operating.
On Wednesday, Colonial stated, "Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions. Colonial continues to move as much gasoline, diesel and jet fuel as possible and will continue to do so as markets return to normal."
The American Automobile Association states gas prices in Georgia rose five cents from Monday to Tuesday, settling at an average of $2.36, displeasing the locals. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says, "Limited availability of gasoline at some local distribution terminals and the higher costs of alternative supply options will ultimately influence the retail price of gasoline."
For all the broke college students needing to fuel their cars this weekend, you may have to settle for being trapped on the mountain for a few days longer until prices are kinder to our wallets. Otherwise, try to hitch a ride with that one smart friend who filled up their tank before Chattanooga ran out.