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Sunday, July 31, 2005



Barge brings gas relief
to Molokai

Panic and lines subside as the
delayed ship refills drained reserves

KAUNAKAKAI, Molokai » Molokai motorists received relief from a gasoline shortage caused by rumors that the island was going to run out of gas.

A barge carrying gasoline docked yesterday to refill drained supplies.

One station was down to offering only supreme, and another had only diesel fuel.

"Somebody started a good rumor and panicked everybody," said Jeanette Kahalahoe, a Molokai resident.

Kahalahoe said she's never seen such a gasoline panic on Molokai.

On an island with only two service stations and about 7,000 residents, it didn't take long until some of the pumps were empty.

Kalama Service was shut down except for its diesel pump, after the panic took place Thursday.

By early yesterday morning, Rawlins' Chevron had drained its unleaded regular and unleaded plus and was left pumping its supreme brand.

Both stations said business had returned to normal by yesterday afternoon.

"We have a lot of people, but no rush, no lines," said Shirley Rawlins, the dealer for Rawlins' Chevron.

Rumors about the gas shortage spread Thursday when officials with the island's main fuel distributor, Island Petroleum, learned that the arrival of a refueling barge would be delayed by a day.

The barge was unable to dock at Kaunakakai Harbor on Thursday because it was loaded down and floating too low.

The barge went on to Hilo and Maui and returned after lightening its load.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.



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