Georgia drivers search for gas amid shortages

Drivers in metro Atlanta and throughout the state faced long lines and dry pumps Saturday as fallout from an Alabama pipeline spill threatened gasoline supplies in Georgia.

Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin said some of the busiest pumping stations in his Paulding County city are running on fumes.

“Kroger is down to premium only,” he said. “And the QT that is adjacent to it is completely out of gas.”

Metro residents took to social media to share their experiences hunting for gas. Reports of closed stations ranged from Conyers to Carrollton and beyond.

“We’re out of gas,” said Russell Stookey, an attorney in Hiawassee. “Every station I’ve gone by, they’ve got signs saying, ‘no gas.’ ”

Stookey said cars waiting at stations were spilling out into the streets of his north Georgia city. He watched as one station that did have gas raised its price from $2.49 to $3.09 per gallon.

Hiawassee is about 105 miles north of downtown Atlanta.

The shortage is pinned to a leak in the Colonial Pipeline that runs from Mississippi to Atlanta. The leak was first detected Sept. 9, and Alpharetta-based Colonial Pipeline has acknowledged that between 252,000 and 336,000 gallons have leaked from a rupture south of Birmingham.

Along with Georgia, the leak threatens supplies in Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Gov. Nathan Deal has signed an emergency order temporarily lifting federal restrictions to allow truckers to stay on the road longer to deliver more fuel.

“We are confident these measures will help ensure Georgians’ uninterrupted access to motor fuel until Alabama’s pipeline is fixed,” Deal said in a statement Friday.