OMG! Gas has been out of control here in Alabama, due to panic over potential hurricane effects, since Friday.
Gasoline prices in Birmingham and around the Gulf Coast skyrocketed Friday as panic-buying tied to Hurricane Ike caused lines at some service stations and voluntary rationing by one major retailer.
Prices jumped as much as 14 percent in hours, as many gas stations that were charging about $3.50 a gallon Thursday charged $3.99 a gallon by Friday afternoon. In some areas, prices jumped above $4.50 a gallon.
http://www.alabamagasprices.com/news/Stiff_penalties_for_gas_gouging_during_Hurricane_Ike/8664_325966/index.aspx "Fearing the worst, drivers flocked"
and "Gas Hoarding Drains Pumps" says it all.
I was one of the unfortunates who actually NEEDED gas after work on Friday. I had to deal with the mad insane rush of frenzied people flocking to the pumps to fill up because their co-workers and family members and friends and they have all been in a state of panic because they think we're going to run out of gas because it can't be delivered due to it not being able to arrive because of the hurricane. (yikes, that was a long sentence.) If I hadn't have filled up, I would have run out of gas mid-day on Saturday, so I HAD to deal with it. I had to sit in a LINE to get gas. By 6:00 PM, the only gas available was the highest grade. I was actually pretty lucky because it was "only" $3.78 per gallon (their pre-frenzy price was $3.54 per gallon for the low grade, the cheapest in the general area I had seen). Many gas stations had already upped their prices by that time of the day to help offset the frenzy a bit.
I'm just mad that I had to be a part of it. A lot of people actually left work to fill up on Friday so they could avoid higher prices later. I just wanted to have a friggin' bit of gas so I could go places on the weekend.
Here's a neat little website to find the local gas prices.
Yep, Friday they were out of stuff STILL.