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Gas Shortage Hits Southeastern US

A fuel shortage is gripping parts of the southeastern U.S., after two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico forced oil companies to shut down refineries for a time.

The shortage began earlier this month after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike forced oil refineries to halt production. Weeks later, many refineries are still producing fuel at reduced levels.

The southeastern U.S. is being hit with higher fuel costs, long lines at filling stations and the widespread closure of gas stations.

Officials in the region say some motorists fear the shortage will continue and are stockpiling fuel. Authorities say that is driving up demand, especially in the hard-hit states of Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Consumers have had to wait in line for hours at some gas stations. Other service stations have put up "No Gas" signs and have placed plastic bags over fuel-pump nozzles.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.