The lines are small and life is returning to normal for Charlotte-area drivers. The great gas crisis of 2008 is nearly over.
But what a few weeks it has been. Long lines, short tempers, high prices and few answers.
On Sept. 12, Hurricane Ike hit Texas, temporarily crippling more than a dozen refineries on the Gulf Coast, an area that accounts for about 20 percent of the nation's gas.
What started as an annoyance as gas prices climbed toward $5 a gallon quickly turned to desperation as the region's supply simply dried up.
Drivers waited hours in line, creating traffic jams. Police were dispatched. Dozens of fights were reported and at least one arrest made.
Meanwhile, locals turned their anger toward local leaders. Could more have been done to ease the problem? Why was Charlotte hit so much harder than cities to the east? Can we prevent this from happening again?
These are the questions that state and local leaders will be dealing with long after the crisis has become a distant memory.
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