More gas stations running dry - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

More gas stations running dry

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Posted: Sunday, August 17, 2003 3:07 am | Updated: 1:47 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

"Sorry — Out of Order."

Yellow plastic bags with this message lined the premium pumps at many Valley gas stations on Saturday.

The Kinder Morgan pipeline that brings fuel to Phoenix was still shut down Saturday after rupturing on July 30.

Though the pipeline, which supplies about half of the Valley’s gasoline, has been repaired, testing still needs to be done on up to 30 miles.

This means the Valley’s gas is still being brought in from Tucson via tanker trucks, limiting the supply for most gas stations.

Premium gasoline appears to be the first to go. According to AAA Arizona, the bulk of resources is used to transport regular unleaded gas since it is the most widely used.

As a result, many East Valley stations have run out of premium and carry only regular unleaded.

Dan Boatwright of Gilbert usually fills his Corvette with premium. "Now, I just go wherever they have gas," he said Saturday.

"We run out, then we get deliveries. Then we run out again, and we get another delivery," said Rich Urban, who works at the Texaco station on McKellips and Country Club drives in Mesa.

Transportation is more costly and time consuming, and so gas prices are increasing.

"For the past week I’ve been raising prices about twice a day," Urban said.

His station, which was selling regular-grade, self-serve unleaded gas at $1.83 per gallon at 10 a.m. Saturday, had upped its price to $1.88 by 2 p.m.

It hurt business in the beginning, Urban said, when no one knew what was going on, but things have gone back to normal since the closure was announced.

"You have no alternative," he said. "You need gas."

In Scottsdale, some gas stations raised their prices 2 cents to 4 cents per gallon on Saturday.

The lowest price for regular-grade unleaded gas found in a random check of nine stations was $1.89 a gallon.

The highest price, for premium grade, was $2.19.

But station managers said the price hikes weren’t slowing business, but instead were making Saturday a busier day than normal.

"I think people are afraid we’re going to run out of gas, so they’re hurrying in to fill up,’’ said Gretchen Adams, a manager at BJ’s Food Mart and Chevron station at Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale.

Melissa Mayo of Chandler said she’s frustrated with the prices, but know she has to put up with it.

"Sometimes I wish I just rode the bus," she said.

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