Gas supplies improve, as complaints grow - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gas supplies improve, as complaints grow

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

September 17, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Some South Georgia gas stations may be boosting prices under the cover of darkness.

Deputies tell WALB News 10 that some Albany stations raised prices overnight when they thought deputies weren't watching, and then lowered those prices when the sun came up.

Dougherty County deputies are monitoring the county's 93 gas stations around the clock, though. Each shift writes down prices and their paperwork indicates some stations up the prices after dark.

"We've had situations where it was for example, $4.02 when the 2:00 to 10:00 people got off and when the midnight people came on it had gone up to $4.29 on some of the all night gas stations then come back down the next morning," said Captain Craig Dodd, Dougherty County Sheriff's Office.

All of the information gathered by the Sheriff's office will be turned over to the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs once the state of emergency is lifted. Wednesday that office received 48 complaints alone from the south Georgia region.

Slowly but surely, south Georgia's gas supply is being replenished. It's encouraging news along with prices today that fell below four dollar for the first time since Friday.

Wednesday stations who were out of gas yesterday had full tanks, but those who has gas Tuesday, were empty today. Station owners say fixing south Georgia's gas supply problem won't happen overnight, but it is getting better.

What a difference a day makes. Gas stations with no product yesterday, had full tanks this morning as supplies finally arrived in south Georgia to the customer's delight.

"It's great, it's really great," said motorist Katherine Woodall.

"It started back Wednesday morning, being able to get a little more gas. We got a little this morning, we were out last night," said Morris Leverett, a Petro Station Owner.

Three of Leesburg's four stations who had no product earlier are back in business. Station owners expect to see more truck-loads in the coming days, but caution the fix won't happen overnight. New truck-loads also brought cheaper prices, under four dollars for the first time since Friday.

"Happy to see it a little cheaper because it was so high," said motorist Betty Moses.

Station owners say those prices will continue to fall as long as supplies hold up.

"I'm sure they'll drop the gas, if it's down they'll drop it for me I'm sure because they're pretty good about dropping prices," said Leverett.

That's got some customers smiling, and those smiles could broaden as long as price continue to drop.

"Its just the prices, the prices," said James Brown, a motorist.

We couldn't get Colonial Pipeline to return our calls Wednesday, but station owners told us, the terminal that had product Wednesday morning, was out of gasoline again by the afternoon.

Station owners who also had product this morning were fearful they would again be out of product by this evening because of the rate people were filling up.

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