Gas Stations Struck by Fuel Shortage

The fuel crunch has hit hard again in the Snoqualmie Valley, and service station

operators from North Bend to Carnation are experiencing

hard times at the pumps.

In a telephone survey last Friday, several

operators said they would run out of gas soon, and two

said they were out already.

Those out of gas presently are Maskrod's

in Snoqualmie and Don's Chevron in Fall City. They have been out of gas since Jan. 17 and

neither expects any gas until after Feb. 1. Until that

time, according to Don Moe, his station will be open

to handle lube room customers.

Meanwhile, several of their colleagues

have decided to ration gas while others, not feeling

the pinch so badly, are not rationing. In other

cases, however, gas station operators locally are

simply pumping their gas, with no limit, until their

storage tanks are dry.

A different approach is being tried at

Chuck's Chevron in Carnation, where customers face a

double rationing system devised to keep gas flowing for

a time each day until Feb. 1 and new allotments come in.

That system is based on a limit per customer

and also a limit per day from the pumps. Chuck said

that he usually opens the pumps for a couple of hours

each day, until he reaches the daily limit he figured

out some time ago, and then he locks them up again.

This way, he hopes to be busy until the first of the month.

Most of those interviewed voiced the same

concern and same idea of what they will do; they will

hold their collective breath until Feb. 1 and the

new allotments start coming in.

In the words of one disgruntled operator, "I'd

just LOVE to stay open more."

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