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Gas Shortage Hits the Southeast

Gas Shortage

Wathiq Khuzaie, Getty Images (left) / strent9811, CNN iReport (right)

On the left, Iraqis wait in a gas line amid a sandstorm in Baghdad, Iraq. On the right, cars cue up in front of a Texaco station in Forsyth County, Ga. over the weekend.

A gas shortage has reportedly hit all over the Southeast, stretching from Florida to Tennessee.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has more:

Gas remained hard to find around much of metro Atlanta on Monday morning, as lingering supply complications in the wake of two hurricanes had many motorists driving miles out of their way in a search for fuel.

State and industry officials say the problem stems from supply interruptions from the Gulf, where refineries are still rebuilding capacity after the double whammy of hurricanes Gustav and Ike, and the required use of cleaner-burning fuel in metro Atlanta. That means gas can't be easily diverted from other areas where supplies are ample.

There were mixed signals about how soon the shortages will abate. Industry officials say refineries are rapidly restoring supply, and state officials say they're taking steps to boost the flow. Some station owners, however, say they've been warned not to expect normal supplies for days to come.

Adding to the frustration, metro Atlantans who find gas are paying well over the national average for it. The average price in the area Monday morning was $4.01 a gallon, about 30 cents higher than the U.S. average, according to

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