Area Residents, Fearing Gas Shortage, Create Gas Shortage Together

Following an announcement from Governor Haslam yesterday, cautioning Tennesseeans to “maintain their normal fuel purchasing and driving patterns” in order to avoid a potential gas shortage, physician Lee Roy Wills of Sylvan Park joined several of his neighbors, friends, and associates in purchasing four times their usual weekly gas consumption at the nearest gas station, thus causing the station to experience the very shortage of which they were afraid.


“There’s gonna be a lot stupid people out there that are gonna ignore the Governor’s warning,” Wills told reporters, “ which is exactly why I felt the need to order two ten-gallon gas containers off of Amazon Now, and immediately fill them up and to also top-off my ¾ full SUV.  I mean, I pretty much had to get as much gas as possible before everyone else created a panic and kept me from getting any.”

The situation began to develop Friday morning when a petroleum pipeline in Alabama, which is responsible for a portion of the fuel sent to Middle Tennessee, burst and spilled an estimated 6,000 barrels of fuel.  While it is only one company’s pipeline and not the sole source (nor an overly significant source) of the greater-Nashville-area’s petroleum, Governor Haslam nonetheless declared a temporary state of emergency; this declaration allowed the government to briefly suspend labor laws that would prevent fuel companies from sending extra fuel tankers into the area to compensate for the downed pipeline.  Both Gov. Haslam and the fuel company assured residents that, if they proceed as normal, only minor shortages might occur and normal fuel levels will resume within the weekend.

Nonetheless, other motorists interviewed at the fueling station expressed remarkably similar feelings to Wills’, which might be a contributing factor as to why several area gas stations are now, indeed, reporting fuel shortages.  Cynthia Jacobs, a school teacher from Mt. Juliet who drove all the way to the Sylvan Park gas station, noted “I know that there’s ultimately nothing to worry about, but some people are just prone to go overboard and end up causing issues for everyone else when they really don’t have to.  Thankfully, my neighbor runs a junkyard and he has a couple of old metal fuel barrels, so I threw them in my husband’s F-150 and headed straight here to get two months’ worth of gas.  I won’t let any panic-stricken morons put me at an inconvenience!”

Dr. Sharon DeVonderpiel, a Professor of Local Anthropology at Vanderbilt University, notes that this cirucumstance offers a unique opportunity to observe what the combined efforts of a community are capable of accomplishing.  “The Great Flood of 2010 showed us that Nashville is quite up to the challenge of working together to overcome a crisis” said DeVonderpiel.  “Inversely, this is revealing that we are equally capable of coming together to create a crisis.  It’s fascinating!


Gas station photo found at

36 thoughts on “Area Residents, Fearing Gas Shortage, Create Gas Shortage Together

  1. Cynthia Jackson is a idiot , she says people going over board but she took 2 barrels of fuel? More than 2 months worth! Every body just looks out for their self smfh

  2. Last time this happened in Nashville I had a mom in Critical Care unit in Williamson county and a business in Nashville that demanded I be there. No gas anywhere, thanks to the panicked community. Glad I’m on extended vaccay far away!

  3. It pretty sad that our new media takes this time to take advantage out fears. Instead of reporting where gas can be found, they take pleasure in reporting what stations are out of gas! Big help news media!!! We will pray for you all!!

  4. Good job Lee Roy Willis – “There’s gonna be a lot stupid people out there that are gonna ignore the Governor’s warning,” Wills told reporters. You’re no different than the other stupid people. Amazing how your brain and mouth don’t connect in making such an ignorant statement.

  5. Nobody would hoard triple/quadruple the amount they need if the price were allowed to match demand. At, say, $4 gallon people who REALLY need gas would pony up, while those who just wanna “feel ready” would feel their wallet and decide to wait. The anti-gouging laws are perversely creating the opposite of what they supposedly exist to stop.

  6. “There’s a bunch of stupid people gonna come take our gas.” *fills up two barrels worth*.

    They’re the idiots that they are afraid of.

    • This is the dumbest article I’ve ever read. You are so right. Is he a doctor of stupidity? He is the one causing the problem. And that woman too. There wouldn’t have been a problem except the media caused idiots like this to panic and take more than their fair share. I hope they had to pay a lot of money for that gas because maybe their children’s teachers, or the guy at the grocery store or someone else they count on won’t have gas to get to work. The one station here that had gas is now price gouging and is almost $4/gal.

      • Oh the media didn’t make them do it. The media, this time, just passed on the word from Our Great Governor, and the people acted as they always will.

  7. I heard there’s an air line leak now. We may not be able to breathe by morning unless you have a large compressor and can fill the take quickly enough.

  8. Preach! People have once again caused the problem that they feared. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to gas up once a week as I always have, assuming there is any gas left after people finish filling up their extra 50 gallon drums….

  9. The MEDIA created the problem. They stirred up the whole gas line leak drama and people responded. No different than when the weatherman calls for snow and then suddenly the stores run out of bread and milk. Grrrrr!!

  10. I think if the media would not have put that the pipeline burst out there, there wouldn’t have been a panic. They do that know when to shut up. They need to start doing a bit of critical thinking.

  11. By the way, if you are buying the gas in bulk, it’s shelf life is only about 3 months and that’s only in ideal conditions, if it’s stored at 70 F or above it evaporates quickly. I hope this “crisis” doesn’t last longer than that for you.

  12. When I got back to my company’s terminal yesterday a couple of other drivers warned me that the Pilot down the street was almost out and that people were lined up around the corner. I couldn’t help but laugh. It seems every few years this sort of thing happens, but this time I was accidentally ready. You see, I topped my car off last weekend, and then it sat undriven fromantic Monday until last night. I’m good.

  13. Know what’s funny is the Dr. and school teacher talk about stupid people panicking and causing a shortage so they both panicked and the Dr. bought extra fuel cans and the teacher used fuel barrels, BARRELS, and went and filled up with a month’s worth of gas. Because they are stupid it didn’t dawn on them they ARE the stupid people!!

  14. Pingback: The Ridiculousness of Our Current Situation | Aaron's Digital Hub.

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