By Blake Spurney
NEWTON – Harvey County hasn’t experienced a run on gasoline like a lot of places have seen, but some customers have altered their normal purchasing just to be safe.
Thuan Ngo, owner of T’s Happy Store, said she sold more gasoline on Thursday than she usually did.
“I don’t know. The people are trying to fill up. I don’t run out. I almost ran out,” she said.
Ngo said she was able to order more gasoline on Tuesday
“People are scared,” she said. “They try to fuel way up. It’s usually $5 to $10, but right now, they try to fill up. I do the same.”
Russian hackers caused a shock to the nation’s gasoline supply by shutting down a major artery to the east coast. Stations from Georgia to Virginia reported running out of fuel and the situation was exacerbated by people panic buying as much as gasoline as they could.
Shaq Ali, owner of Newell Travel Center, said his supply wasn’t running low.
“Plenty of places ran out,” he said. “Downtown ran out.”
Ali said he had more control over his station’s supply, since the station has its own delivery company.
Cindy Reyes, manager of Dillons station, said buying patterns seemed to be like any other week.
“We never run out,” she said. “We get two to three deliveries coming in a day. I’ve got a truck coming in right now.”
Reyes said she heard of other places in the region where gasoline was in short supply. She said she wondered what the supply would be like on Memorial Day weekend, which is one of the busiest travel days in the nation.
Stan Bonnema of Waconia, Minn., is following his grandson, Carter Bock, in a vehicle, while Bock is bicycling across the United States. Bonnema dropped off Bock at the western Kansas border on May 9 and they came through Newton on Friday.
“I think the pipelines are intact, from what I’ve heard,” he said. “The distribution grid hasn’t been hacked. Maybe next week.”
Bock started two years ago in Oregon and made it to the Kansas border, and he’s planning to reach the east coast this summer. He said he wasn’t too worried about what was going on out east because he figured the situation would get back to normal by the time he arrived there.