Panic at the pumps
By By Adam Prestridge
Motorists topped off their tanks Friday at area gas stations in anticipation of increases due to Hurricane Ike.
Small lines formed at most stations throughout the day, but no prices rose more than 20 cents, unlike neighboring cities.
Smith, who owns Smith Machining on Howard Street, also filled up a few five-gallon containers “just in case.”
Atmore’s Lilly Mitchell, who was two pumps down from Smith also filling up her vehicle, said she noticed prices increasing and decided to fill up to save money.
The average price for unleaded in downtown Atmore was $3.85 Saturday morning. At the Atmore exits off Interstate 65, prices were as high as $3.99 on Friday.
Gov. Bob Riley issued a state of emergency Friday afternoon after price gouging in north Alabama was reported with gas prices more than $5 per gallon at some stations.
The Jet-Pep on Douglas Avenue in Brewton was reported as being the highest priced station in Escambia County with regular unleaded at $4.65.
Attorney General Troy King said Friday that all resources would be exhausted to prosecute gougers.
Ike is, however, expected to cause fuel price increases with several refineries unable to operate during and following the storm.