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Even officials can't get answers for Ascension gas crisis

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ASCENSION PARISH - Saad's Food Mart on Highway 74 in Gonzales is one of less than a dozen in Ascension Parish with gas.

Employees working overtime are directing traffic and filling customer's gas cans themselves.

"We're out here just trying to make sure, while we're running off a generator, people can get the fuel they need until we run out," Ishawna West said.

Lines wrapped around street corners. Most customers were waiting for at least two hours.

"It's been very hectic and very stressful," said Jeremy Gaudet from Thibodaux. "I have a pregnant girlfriend and home, and we're trying to get back to Thibodaux right now, so the whole purpose is to get gas, and we are on 'E' right now, so if we leave right now, we can't make it nowhere."

Many waiting in line have been facing the same problem everyone else has--most places just aren't open.

"Been to Baton Rouge, Airline, Highway 30, Burnside, and this the smallest line I've been in so far," said Charles Willis of Geismar.

The main reason for the lack of gas is power outages. No electricity means no working gas pumps. Ascension Parish officials are concerned about why it's been so difficult to get gas to pumps that have power.

"The one place that we're getting worse as days go by is in terms of fuel. Everything else is improving except for this gasoline crisis that we're in," Rep. Tony Bacala said.

Even with two refineries nearby, Sheriff Bobby Webre says even he can't get answers.

"We need to find out why they are not pumping fuel to our distributors so we can get it here or to people who are even more in need than we are, and we just can't find those answers," Webre said.

For now, Saad's Food Mart says their customers are being patient.

"To be honest with you, people have been kind of understanding because of the simple fact that they know it's a hurricane and there's no other gas stations that are open right now, so they pretty much been understanding," West said.

But that patience, like the gas supply, is running thin.


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