Katrina impact felt nationwide:
"Out of Gas" signs and yellow caution tape were draped across pumps in parts of the United States early Thursday after many retailers were overrun by panicked motorists looking to top off their tanks as prices soared past $3 per gallon and reports of shortages spread.
Gas stations in and around downtown Atlanta had temporarily run out of gas. The same was reported elsewhere, including parts of North Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Arizona. Many retailers who did have gas had no clue when their next shipments would come in.
Some of this is real. The area hit contains something like half of the oil refining capacity of the US. But a lot of this is just panic. If everybody thinks that gas will run out and tries to horde gas, then gas will run out.