Sandy still causing PA gas shortage?

The Altoona-based Sheetz convenience store chain, the closest thing to Wawa west of Lancaster, says it ran out of low-octane gas at its central PA stores this weekend -- and blamed Hurricane Sandy, which blew out two weeks ago.

"The shortage is a delayed result from refineries along the East Coast being knocked out by Hurricane Sandy," Sheetz spokeswoman Monica Jones told the Harrisburg Patriot-News here. 

"She said the problem did not surface in this area until now, because of the amount of gasoline already in the system when the refineries were shut down... The refineries are back on line, but not yet able to produce enough gasoline to replace the supply" that has been drawn down "since the storm hit."

We haven't noticed Wawa, which buys gasoline from a refinery in Wales that's supplied by North Sea oil off the coast of Scotland, among other places, is running low on gas around Philly. "We are not currently experiencing any problems with fuel supply," though "we had some challenges in early November in the Western part of the state," now resolved, Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce told me. 

Wawa, which is expanding in Florida, avoids other markets where comparable chains like Sheetz dominate. The Sheetz chain reorganized its family-dominated management on Nov. 2, as it happens, just before the storm hit. More on Sheetz here.

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