No gas shortage in South Ga., Lowndes Co. officials caution people at pumps

| September 19, 2016

By Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News

LOWNDES Co. – Gas prices hike and pumps go dry in Georgia, after an Alabama pipeline spill.

Lowndes County officials say there’s no shortage as of now, but it’s not permanent and can change in a matter of hours.

“If our people in Lowndes County will just continue to do what they’ve done as consumption goes, and we don’t have a run on the pumps here then we’re not expecting a shortage,” says Paige Dukes, with Lowndes County Emergency Management.

Many in South Georgia begin to fill up to avoid any risk that the supply might run out.

Businesses like Jeff’s Lawn Care say a shortage of fuel means no work.

“I wouldn’t be able to go out and do any work if there was no gas, so it would put a damper on me,” says James Waldron, with Jeff’s Lawn Care.

The County says while a shortage is possible, it’s avoidable.

Monday morning, Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal issued an executive order, after seeing gas prices soar in North Georgia.

It prevents businesses from significantly hiking fuel prices due to the pipeline spill.

“We certainly recommend anyone that is considering that to think twice before they go in that direction,” says Dukes.

The County says law enforcement is continuing to monitor gas stations in the area.

Statement from Lowndes County:

Last week, a Colonial Pipeline was shut down pending repairs to address a leak.  The repair has taken longer than expected due to inclement weather.  Governor Deal has issued a State of Emergency for the metro Atlanta area, which temporarily waives driving restrictions for fuel transport drivers.  Further, an executive order was issued today to address reports of price gouging, in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 38-3-51.

While a shortage of fuel availability is possible, fuel providers are encouraging motorists to continue to purchase fuel on an as-needed basis, in an effort to prevent a negative impact on local fuel levels.  If there is a large scale effort by citizens to fuel all their vehicles at once and/or there are attempts to store extra fuel in containers, then a shortage could occur.  A lack of available fuel can cause panic, disrupt business operations, and increase fuel prices.

Officials will continue to monitor conditions with regards to fuel availability and possible price gouging, until the shortage threat has passed.  Instances of price gouging should be reported to local law enforcement.

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