With rumors flying rampant, 105.7 News has been in touch with many of the fuel stations in Crossville this evening and a common theme from the employees is that much like the sale of bread and milk before a predicted snow, over the past two days their gas stations have had a run of panicked buyers causing some to run out of fuel. Most retailers indicated that they had been selling 4 to 5 times their normal volume over the past couple of days. Many said they felt like it was triggered after the Governor issued his “State of Emergency” concerning the gas leak in Alabama.
The first retailer to run out of fuel was the Walmart on 127 North. They ran out yesterday morning and have not been told when they will have fuel again. This morning several retailers started running low on Regular and then high test and ultimately had to shut down during the day. These included the Food City and Weigel’s at Fairfield Glade and several other smaller stations that are considered by distributors to be “none-brand” fuel retailers. Around mid morning Kroger’s ran out of regular fuel, after pumping over 12,000 gallons since Friday Morning, then mid grade about noon and by about 4:30 this afternoon they were out of high test. They are expecting a fuel truck tomorrow afternoon. Food City on Miller Avenue ran out of regular about 2 this afternoon, then high test and finally mid grade about 7 pm. They expect a truck sometime tomorrow.
Rumors posted to our Facebook page about fuel being out at all stations on Peavine Road proved to be untrue. While the Shell Station there was out of Regular Grade gasoline for about 4 hours this afternoon, they received a truck load of fuel early this evening and are good to go. As of this writing, Exxon on Peavine Road had not had any supply problems and was expecting an additional fuel delivery in the morning.
At 127 North and I-40, the Exxon there ran out of Regular earlier today, but was still selling mid grade and high test. They were expecting to be replenished in the morning. The Shell on 127 north was running low on all grades of gasoline, but had plenty of diesel. The owner did not know when he would receive another shipment. The Circle K on 127 North had just received a shipment of fuel around 7 this evening. They had pumped almost 10,000 gallons of regular grade fuel since about 7 last night.
In town, the Exxon at Five Points had plenty of all grades of fuel and told 105.7 News that they had a pipe going straight to the bulk plant and they didn’t expect to run out. Across the street at Weigel’s the pumps were very busy and the manager indicated they had run out of 100% gasoline and were running low on high test, but had received a shipment of regular earlier today. The Speedway had received a delivery earlier today and felt like they had a sufficient supply of fuel on hand. The Pilot had plenty of fuel in all their tanks after receiving a fuel shipment earlier today, Pilot had an extra tanker truck on site and an employee told 105.7 News that Pilot had its own bulk plant in Knoxville and was tapped into a smaller pipeline that had not been effected by the shut down in Birmingham.
Fuel prices in Crossville were surprisingly low under the circumstances. Regular unleaded was still selling for $1.99 a gallon at the Circle K and Pilot. Another dealer had told 105.7 News that they had been told by management to increase their price of regular unleaded yesterday from $1.92 to $1.99 and then again today buy 10 more cents to $2.09. The highest price gas we found was $2.49. The owner of that station said he had a very limited supply and he had heard fuel was going for $5.00 a gallon in Nashville.
One retailer told us that if the Governor hadn’t panicked people by declaring State of Emergency so close to the weekend, when typically they don’t have fuel deliveries, these shortages could have been better handled. Additionally, one distributor told us that there are other pipelines that can be used to accommodate demand and the supply will catch up.