From staff reports
In a throwback to the Arab Oil Embargo in 1974, lines are forming at gas stations as motorists top off their tanks and fuel distributors are running out of the commodity.
Gas retailers throughout Wylie and around North Texas started experiencing shortages Wednesday in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that caused the closure of refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast
RaceTrac at 801 N. Hwy. 78 ran out of gas three times between Wednesday morning and Thursday morning, and employees were constantly fielding telephone calls from customers inquiring whether they had fuel, Shift Manager Katie Vetter reported.
“I got here about 5:30 and there was only one pump open, so I got gas,” she added.
The business received 8,000 gallons of gas at 2:30 a.m. Thursday and ran through that at 7:51 a.m. Vitter checked tank readings regularly and noted that pumps were flowing at a rate of about 200 gallons every five minutes.
Kwik Chek convenience store, which sells Exxon gas at the intersection of FM 544 and Hwy. 78, ran out of all grades and types of fuel at 12:30 a.m. Thursday and posted signs on pumps while waiting for a shipment.
Manager Tracy Taylor reported that cars surrounded the station and that some customers waited in line for an hour to fill their tanks.
“It was crazy here last night,” Taylor said. “I almost had two fights in the parking lot. Luckily, it did not come to that.”
With the gasoline shortages, prices have increased from about $2.10 cents per gallon for regular grade last week to as much as $2.49 per gallon at some Wylie stations.
Taylor noted that Texas is not actually running out of gasoline, it is simply a matter of transporting fuel from refineries in other parts of the state.