I went to Asheville, NC on Sunday for what I thought would be a brief visit with my best friend. Before my journey, I filled up at the East Bay Express then headed off to the mountains of Western North Carolina. As I approached Hendersonville, my little voice said, “Hey, why don’t you stop and get some gas before you get there? You’re down to less than a quarter of a tank.” Then my other little voice responded, “Let’s just get there! We’ll get gas later. There’s no hurry.”
Turns out, there was a hurry. By Monday evening, gas was scarce and there were unbelievable lines (up to 2 hours) to fill up. I decided to wait an extra day because surely there would be gas on Tuesday. When Tuesday came and went with only more news of bone-dry stations, my hope for gas by Wednesday faltered. I finally made it home late Wednesday evening after my chivalrous husband drove 30 gallons of precious petroleum all the way from Charleston to rescue me.
Upon my return, I was surprised to learn that few people here seemed to know that an entire area of Western NC had run completely out of gas. It seemed strange to me after several days of talking about nothing but gas (and the lack of it) that no one in our fair city seemed threatened by a shortage.
As the week progressed, more and more areas of the Southeast were affected by the scarcity and people started buzzing about Augusta, Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville. Still, here in Charleston, we’re not worried. Although our country’s gas supply is at it’s lowest level since 1967, our coastal location and the presence of our busy port will likely guarantee no crisis here.