'Is this a scam?': Georgia gas station owner 'gives back' with $2 price over July 4th weekend

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Credit: Lewis Levine / For Savannah Morning News

Credit: Lewis Levine / For Savannah Morning News

Liberty County native Victoria Smith travels back and forth between her hometown and Atlanta frequently. Most days, it takes anywhere between $95-$100 to fill her tank. But as she returned home for the Fourth of July weekend, she could not believe her eyes when she passed Chevron gas station on 131 E. General Screven Highway in Hinesville.

The price of fuel was $1.99 a gallon.

Smith began clapping and shouting for joy. Just before she pumped, she took in the moment and questioned whether or not the discounted price was real.

The rollback cut her spending in half.

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Credit: Lewis Levine / For Savannah Morning News

Credit: Lewis Levine / For Savannah Morning News

In a video captured by photojournalist Lewis Levine of Coastal News Service, the station's owner Ravi Patel shared what compelled him to drop the price well below the national average.

“We want to give back to the community,” said Patel. “The community makes us who we are as a family. We all came from India to make a better life for ourselves. This is what we need to do to give back to the community.”

A fuel tank arrived the day before to top off the tanks and Patel estimated about 5,000 gallons were sold in three hours. Cars were stretched for miles as people piled in to take advantage of the unprecedented price.

“It makes me feel good and I’ll sleep better at night,” said Patel.

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Credit: Lewis Levine / For Savannah Morning News

Credit: Lewis Levine / For Savannah Morning News

Emanuel Holmes said he felt like he went back in time. “I feel like it’s 1960,” said Holmes.

His wife Robin called the discount a blessing. “With the way gas prices are these days, a lot of people can’t afford it,” she said. “Twenty dollars will only get me a quarter of a tank. It’s a major blessing.”

Smith elaborated on how Patel’s generosity will impact every driver that came through his gas station.

“This is powerful,” said Smith. “Everyone should follow through because it is deeper than just getting around. People are not seeing their families and people are having a hard time. I just bought this truck, but it’s no good if I can’t drive it right?”

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Credit: Lewis Levine / For Savannah Morning News

Credit: Lewis Levine / For Savannah Morning News

Patel knew he would take a huge loss. Typically, gas sells for $3.85 a gallon at his store, but he insisted he made the right decision.

“Everything is going crazy,” said Patel. “I was sleeping one time and I thought I need to do something for the community to ease the burden on their wallet. The first thing that came to my mind was gas. The way the world is right now, we need to give back to the community.”

Latrice Williams is a general assignment reporter covering Bryan and Effingham County. She can be reached at lwilliams6@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: 'Is this a scam?': Georgia gas station owner 'gives back' with $2 price over July 4th weekend