Beginning on Wednesday night, drivers descended on gas stations throughout North Texas amid fears that Hurricane Harvey was making fuel scarce. They sat in lines, paid considerably more per gallon and drained stations dry.
And their fear is largely unfounded.
Sure, Hurricane Harvey forced more than a dozen production facilities along the Texas Gulf Coast to shut down operations, but those in the gas distribution industry say that, for now, the only real issue is that it’s taking longer for gas stations to get their fuel supplies replenished. In fact, those we spoke to said the fear of shortages creates a self-fulfilling prophecy: people hear that gas is limited, so they go out and fill up unnecessarily and more than usual, creating an actual shortage.
I was sent out to take photos of the gas station craze on Thursday and the lines were predictably long. A coworker of mine went out to fill up on his lunch break and found that at least one person had abandoned her manners and patience in the search for gas and tried to cut others waiting in line.
I understand that gasoline is a huge part of our economy and commuting by car is part of our daily lives as Americans. But watching people clamor over gasoline and cram their cars into stations, made me think about the value of alternative forms of transportation — namely walking and biking.
Not everybody lives within walking distance of a grocery store or their job and not all errands are feasible without a vehicle, a point I understand completely. But I think we all can admit to using our cars every ow and then simply because we are lazy or driving is more comfortable.
Walking and biking are great options when the destination is reasonably close. They reduce wear and tear on your vehicle and force you to be active. Whenever I walk or ride my bike, I find that I’m more relaxed and more in observant of my surroundings. And, of course, it’s way better for the environment.
So if your gas tank is on “E,” you absolutely need to fill up. But if you can stand to go without a fuel up for the next several days, I highly encourage that you do. You’ll likely save yourself some stress, time and maybe even a little money. And with temperatures expected to take a dip over the holiday weekend, there’s plenty of reason to head outside for a walk or bike ride.
Happy birthday Friday to Misty Nordhoss of Whitesboro; Connor Nix, Karen Harmon, Amelia Nero and Hunter Libby, all of Denison; Vickie Davis and Crischelle Douglas, both of Sherman; and Eli Ruth of Durant, Oklahoma.