I live near downtown Asheville, and yes there is absolutely a gas shortage in Asheville, NC and a lot of the surrounding areas. The last couple days there have been deliveries, but so few of them to so few stations that long lines have sprung up around anyplace that has gas. Of course the station is out of gas again within a few hours on account of the non-stop refueling by gas thirsty motorists.
I did some research and this is what I have gathered:
-There's a gas reserve near where the pipeline comes out at the North/South Carolina border where we get our gas from.
-Because Gustav caused the refineries, pipeline segments and such to temporarily shut down, that supply got tapped into and partially used up.
-When Ike hit, the same thing happened, but there was nowhere near enough left in the reserve. There's still gas moving through the pipeline, but not enough to sustain business as usual.
-Now the available gas is getting rationed out to the different stations/companies around the area. The word from a local BP station is that their company is waiting in line to get gas from the pipeline, then we wait in line to get it from them. Whenever their company makes it through the queue, a gas truck shows up at their station. Once they have gas, everyone buys it all up real quick and they're out of gas again.
It is not helping that people are panicking and rushing the gas stations, but that's not the source of the problem. If there wasn't an actual shortage, it would be back to normal by now.
Me, my friends, co-workers and the gas station employees down the street. Wikipedia> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonial_pipeline