Hurricane Ike slams gas stations before Gulf Coast

by Andie Diemer

Sept. 12, 2008

On Friday evening it wasn’t the line out the door at the re-opening of Lighthouse Tavern that had everyone rushing in a panic. Instead, it was the dozens of cars patiently waiting to fill up their tanks at both the Elon and surrounding Burlington gas stations.

With Hurricane Ike expected to crash into the Gulf Coast later in the evening, many students, faculty members and community residents took their cars to the nearest gas station to fill up before gas prices sky rocketed.

This sign was posted at each pump at the Kangaroo Gas Station in Elon, N.C. While the station asked customers to limit themselves to 10 gallons, many did not
This sign was posted at each pump at the B.P. Kangaroo Gas Station in Elon, N.C. While the station asked customers to limit themselves to 10 gallons, many did not.

The Gulf Coast comprises one of the world’s largest concentration of oil refineries and many companies were shutting down Friday while their employees evacuated, according to MSNBC.com.

Gas prices rose by 11 cents on Thursday when Ike began to make a more direct approach towards the Texas area.

Junior Grace Trilling was one of the dozens of Elon students flocking to the B.P. Kangaroo gas station to fill her tank before Ike hit land Friday night or Saturday morning.

“I’m trying to get some cheap gas before it runs out,” she said. “The lines are crazy. We all came here.”

Trilling said she heard gas was supposed to hit $5 a gallon overnight and that other gas stations had already run out of fuel.

The Kangaroo was requesting that each purchase be kept to under 10 gallons in an effort to conserve enough gas for everyone. However, they did not put a physical cap on the limit.

English Professor Brian Crawford filled up at the same station as Trilling after seeing the price hike in surrounding gas stations.

Even though he is filling up today, he views this circumstance as a notion that the country needs to take a different path regarding energy sources.

“I think we should live closer to where we work. I think we should ride bikes,” Crawford said. “If the gas prices go up to $10 a gallon, maybe this country will decide to put in a real public transportation infrastructure.”

Gas prices rose at the B.P. Kangaroo from $3.59 on Friday to $3.99 on Saturday.

Video by Derek Noble.

Around 5 p.m. on Friday the line at the B.P. Kangaroo gas station in Elon, N.C. had long lines that required drivers to wait for about 10 minutes before they had access to the pump.

Elon University English Professor Brian Crawford made a dash for the pump after seeing the prices at other gas stations.

Elon University Junior Grace Trilling said people outside of Elon were coming to use the gas station. She heard that some gas stations in Burlington had already run out of gas due to the high demand.

Elon University Juniors Patrick McCabe [talking] and James Wesley Lynch [on cell phone] assist junior Grace Trilling with filling up her tank before filling up their own. McCabe said he was willing to pay up to $5 a gallon for gas, but that it would force him to drive his car “very rarely.”

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