Surry County agencies good to go with gas

By Terri Flagg -

Schools, emergency services and law enforcement are in good shape to weather the current gas shortage, according to officials from various county agencies.

The Surry County School’s 20,000 gallon tank of diesel fuel was refilled last week, said Sonia Dickerson, spokesperson.

A delivery for an additional 6,000 tank is expected tomorrow.

The county school system provides busing for Elkin City Schools and Mount Airy City schools in addition to its own student population.

Dickerson said the transportation manager estimated that leaves the schools with a 20-day supply running a full schedule in all three systems.

She noted that the school buses run on diesel and that the damaged pipeline causing the shortage was for regular gasoline.

“We have not received any kind of notice to restrict any of our activities at this point,” Dickerson said.

As of Monday afternoon, “We’ve not heard any concern,” from parents, she said.

“This morning our buses ran like normal, our teachers were here like normal, and our activities this afternoon ran like normal.”

Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson said his team formulated a plan for the shortage Friday.

“It wasn’t a difficult plan, it was just a plan,” he said, that involves working with local retailers to keep fueled while using the county’s own supply as a strategic reserve.

“We haven’t limited our service at all,” said Atkinson, who expects the shortage to be resolved hopefully by mid-week.

“We don’t have an infinite supply,” he said.

Surry County Emergency Services Director John Shelton said the county’s fuel vendor has been working with the agencies.

“They’re taking care of us,” he said, making sure all emergency services and law enforcement agencies have fuel.

“We’ve been concerned about it but the vendor has been very gracious with us.”

That vendor, Circle K, has several locations throughout the county making it widely accessible.

Additionally, “We’ve got some backup systems in place,” Shelton said.

By Terri Flagg

Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

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