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NC gas hunt: Some stations still dry, others not

CHARLOTTE (AP) ó Promised infusions of gasoline to areas of North Carolina that have been out of gas since last week have been slow arriving and officials said Monday all they can do is urge that drivers be patient.
In the stateís largest city, Charlotte motorists still were confronted by closed gas stations and lines where fuel is available. The same problem persists in the stateís mountain region where the shortage hit first.
Tom Crosby of AAA Carolinas said a shipment that came Friday ěwas well short of solving the shortage,î The Charlotte Observer reported Monday.
Crosby said Monday that gasoline moves from the Gulf region at a rate of 100 to 120 miles a day.
ěItís going to take time,î he said.
Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory said Sunday the Department of Energy told him over the weekend that another major shipment of fuel would be delivered Wednesday.
Officials have urged drivers not to top off their tanks to avoid panic buying, but some drivers said they feel they have a reason to be worried.
ěPeople still have to get back and forth to work,î said Chris Sharpe of Columbia, S.C., who was in Charlotte to visit friends. ěItís either (fill up now) or not work, and Iíve got to work.î
Sharpe walked more than two miles Sunday with a gas can before he found an open station. At another station, a driver threw his car keys on the ground in frustration when he arrived just as the pump ran dry.
Some Charlotte residents parked their cars and used the cityís light-rail system. Hundreds of riders crowded the train after Sundayís Carolina Panthers game.
Many stations in the mountains were closed Sunday and waiting for supplies to arrive from distributors, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported Monday. Some stations may continue to run dry while the region waits for resumption of steady supplies.
Availability was spotty. A clerk at one Asheville station said she had fuel but there were no lines Sunday evening.
AAA said spotty supply problems cropped up elsewhere, including Greensboro and Raleigh.
In Kinston, motorists also found some stations were out of gas Sunday, The Free Press of Kinston reported.
ěNothing surprises me anymore with buying gas,î Carol Stavisky said. ěFirst they get the prices up, then they take it away completely.î

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