South Carolina residents feeling effects of gasoline shortage
(Michael Clark | WBTV)
YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) -
Drivers in South Carolina continue to deal with effects from the gasoline shortage. Several gas stations in York, Lancaster, and Chester Counties were out of gas Tuesday.
Clerks told WBTV that many ran out in the morning, but were hoping to have gas by late Tuesday or Wednesday. A couple of businesses are limiting customer gasoline purchases to $20.
In an effort to save fuel for residents and first responders, Lancaster County is keeping some field workers off the roads this week.
“This week we’re cutting back on routine road maintenance, anything that’s an emergency nature, critical need, obviously we’ll still continue to do,” said Lancaster County Administrator Steve Willis.
Willis said assessors and other field workers would also stay indoors to do paperwork. He expects operations to return to normal next week.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is encouraging residents not to panic or make unnecessary trips to fuel up. Problems with the pipeline in Alabama are expected to be fixed Wednesday.
It could take days for prices to return to normal.
Drivers in Lancaster were having a hard enough time finding gasoline Tuesday.
“Today I’ve been three places. I’ve been off 200, I’ve been over there, and now here,” said Ellen Hayes.
Hayes said several of the gas stations she went to only had premium grade gasoline that was much more expensive.
A fuel tanker carrying the regular, cheaper gasoline arrived while WBTV was talking to customers. For some like William Abbot, it was worth the wait.
“I ain’t going to pay $2.64 a gallon, because it ain’t worth it to me. Not when you can get $2.09 or $2.14 a gallon,” Abbot said.
Farther out in the county, there was only one station with gasoline in the Buford community.
Willis said being close to North Carolina has made dealing with the shortage even more challenging.
“York and Lancaster seem to be the counties that were most hammered in South Carolina, being a border county, North Carolina was reportedly impacted much worse than South Carolina,” Willis continued, “We already had folks used to coming over the line and buying gas in Lancaster because it’s cheap. Now they’re coming across the line and buying gas because we have gas.”
Willis said first responders will continue to be out on the roads and that solid waste workers would still work trash routes.