Gas-starved drivers follow tankers hauling 'liquid gold'

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A tanker truck was a sight for sore eyes in Raleigh on Monday.

ABC11's mobile news unit spent part of the night trailing a gas tanker truck from Highway 70 to Interstate 40, because on this night it was carrying what felt like liquid gold.

When the truck finally arrived to resupply the empty Exxon at the Han-dee Hugo on Falls of Neuse Road in north Raleigh, it could barely squeeze into the parking lot because of the line of cars trying to fill up at the Valero next door.

"I guess I lucked out. I really did," said Lashawn Miller, one of the first in line to fill up at the Exxon. "Somebody was watching over me. Because I don't know, I wouldn't have been able to make it home."

Andrew Brockl just arrived here from New Jersey. His Raleigh girlfriend hadn't warned him about the Alabama gas pipeline break that touched off the crisis.

"And, I was coming to visit her and I was not expecting this. So, (I'm) kind of surprised," Brockl said.

At the Speedway gas station near downtown Raleigh, the pumps went dry at noon. But ABC 11 cameras were there at 7 p.m. when the re-supply truck arrived.

WATCH: Greg Barnes reports on the gas situation in Fayetteville
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Motorists scramble to find places to fuel up in Fayetteville.

Frustrated customers seemed relieved. Many of the gas tanks in the line of cars creeping onto Capital Boulevard had gas tanks that were blinking yellow.

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"I am on empty, look see. Look, empty. Yellow light," said Stephanie Gibbs, pointing to her car's gauge.

Taylor Belger needs her car for work. The crisis had her concerned.

"I drive about 500 miles a week as a wine sales rep, so gas is kind of important for my job. So, I'm just pulling up because I saw the truck here," Belger said.

And Gary Hines pulled into the Speedway after eight unsuccessful attempts to fill up at eight other empty Raleigh gas stations.

"I came up empty every time," Hines said. "South Saunders Street, New Bern Avenue (were all empty). I said let me try Capital Boulevard."

READ MORE: Over 400 complaints of price gouging at the pump reported

As Colonial Pipeline works to repair its leaking gas pipe in Alabama, the company is using a secondary line to get gasoline to the gas terminals in Wilmington, where tankers pick it up to deliver to local gas stations.

As this point, this is a nagging inconvenience that may last several days. But, it's not the kind of situation where the state or federal government would step in with emergency supplies of gas.

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