ATLANTA — A pipeline spill that has led to gasoline shortages throughout the South and sparked a state of emergency has become simply the latest example of the fragility of America’s supply line.
Social media linked the situation — which affects around six states — to that in the post-apocalyptic Mad Max movies.
Gas stations in Atlanta had run out of gas Sunday night. Many in Nashville had run out of gas days earlier.
“I’ve seen Mad Max a hundred times and never knew it was supposed to take place in Tennessee,” one person, @SuitsNTattoos, tweeted.
In the Mad Max films, survivors fight over limited fuel supplies in post-apocalyptic Australia.
“Live look at the weather and gas situation in Nashville. Welcome to the Thunderdome,” @Brainard66 tweeted.
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Pictures in The Tennessean newspaper showed gas pumps with signs that state: “Out of gas sorry for the inconvenience” taped to them.
Other pictures showed long lines at a gas stations.
“Full tank of gas for sale. $1000/gal. Who needs it?” @davidpetee tweeted.
One Pipeline Spill Leads to Mad Max in Middle Tennessee
The crisis in Tennessee and other states began with a spill on the Colonial Pipeline — an underground gasoline conduit that connects New York City with the Gulf Coast — near Birmingham, Alabama, on September 9. It provides gas for around 50 million people.
The rupture caused gasoline prices to soar in the region by as much as $1 per gallon. It also led the governors of six states — Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and North Carolina — to declare states of emergency.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam declared a state of emergency on Friday and then assured residents there was no gas shortage. On the same day, The Tennessean reported that 85 stations in Middle Tennessee had run out of gas. That led to drivers rushing to the pumps to fill up.
State of Emergency
Haslam’s executive order waived hourly limits on fuel truck drivers to keep the pumps working.
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When Susan Logan drove to a Kroger gas station in Franklin, Tennessee, an attendant came out and told everybody to leave because the supermarket was out of gas. Logan had to go to three different stations to find fuel.
“The lines kept getting longer and longer as I was there,” Logan told The Tennessean. “I texted my friends to get gas on the way home from work.”
A picture in The Tennessean showed dozens of cars lined up at a Costco gas station.
“I was just amazed at how everybody went into panic mode when they shouldn’t have,” Jackie Dawson said after seeing a line at her local Kroger. “One woman put gasoline in three huge gas tanks as well as her car. It was bizarre. Just like in 2008. Just like the ’70s.”
Some smart citizens were prepared, however.
“Nashville’s freaking out about the #GasShortage. But hey, my freezer’s stocked w/ frozen waffles, so at least my bicycle has plenty of fuel!” @Jeff_Jetton tweeted.
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