Monday, September 22, 2008

Dry pumps keep some employees home

Posted: Sep 21, 2008 04:45 PM CDT Updated: Sep 22, 2008 01:51 PM CDT WKRN Channel 2 Gas shortage keeps some workers at home Businesses are feeling the effects of Middle Tennessee's gas shortage. At the Loveless Cafe in Bellevue several employees called out of work over the weekend because they were out of gas. "We had a couple [Saturday] that couldn't make it in because of gas and it wasn't, they just couldn't find it in their neighborhoods, you know, or by the time they got through the line there was none left," explained manager Frances Davis. "...I think we had one or two the day before, but it really hasn't been as much of a problem as we were afraid it was going to be." Davis said employees were able to leave work to go fill up when gas arrived at the Shell station beside the restaurant. By lunchtime that Shell had already run dry. Overall Davis said business at the restaurant remains strong. "The tourists it hasn't slowed them down at all. They come to Nashville [and] they've got us on their destination," she said. "They are going to come out no matter what it takes. The locals, we see a lot of them especially during the evenings, during the week. We get an awful lot of local business and pretty much they don't let gas prices slow them down either or the gas shortage." The shortage in Nashville is the worst in the southeast. More than half of the city's stations are without fuel Monday and stations lucky enough to receive shipments are flooded with drivers and dry again in a matter of hours. Most of the fuel in Middle Tennessee comes from a pipeline that starts in Houston, which had only been full sporadically since Hurricane Ike hit Texas last weekend. In a statement issued Friday, however, Governor Phil Bredesen said it was running at full capacity. Industry officials have said the long lines and thus the shortage can be blamed on consumers' panic buying and constantly topping off their tanks. Emily LeRoy, associate director of the Tennessee Oil Marketers Association, said some Nashville stations reported double their usual fuel sales volume last week.

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