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    Tallahassee Realizes Largest Fuel Shortage in Florida

    Distribution levels forecasted to increase in coming weeks.

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- While a handful of southern and southeastern states have been dealing with gas shortages since Hurricane Ike hit, Florida’s capitol city has bore the brunt.

    "I can assure you that no city in Florida has a higher priority than Tallahassee right now," Jim Smith, president of the Florida Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, told the Tallahassee Democrat. "The entire distribution network understands that."

    While distribution increased over the region in recent days, Tallahassee c-stores and gas stations are displaying blank pricing boards and waiting to take bags off dry pumps. Locations with gas are experiencing lines, Smith told the paper.

    "I was pleased to see that we didn’t have long lines at most of the retail locations," Smith told the paper. "Each day we are able to bring more product into the area. We have arranged for supply from Pensacola, Jacksonville, Panama City and even Tampa to replace the loss from the pipeline in Bainbridge."

    Scott Dean, a spokesman for BP Oil Corp., is optimistic about a turn around in the coming weeks.

    "I think things should improve dramatically by next week,” Dean told the paper.

    "When you look at how much gas supply there was that was not made, it will take several days to catch up."

    While the Colonial Pipeline in Bainbridge expected to be at full capacity by Tuesday, it has been running at minimal strength, which means 90 percent of fuel that is normally available has needed to be secured from other locations.

    In an attempt to meet demands this week, fuel deliveries have been received from distant locations such as Tampa, which is a 10-hour ride. "Our situation was the worst of any area in the state," Smith told the paper, referring to Tallahassee.

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