CLYDE, Texas - Something unexpected happened during a KTXS interview Tuesday afternoon: we were working on an update to a story about a gas station in Clyde accused of price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Tuesday we went back to Butterman's Grill for a follow up, and there was a car crash just off camera. Two vehicles were involved. An SUV flipped over several times just across the street.
We were talking with Joel Mattson, the manager at Butterman's Grill. He rushed to the scene and found a woman and a little boy shaken up but not seriously hurt.
Mattson said he prides himself on operating a neighborhood store where customers are greeted by name, but Thursday, the store faced backlash on social media after raising gas prices to over $4 a gallon during a statewide gas panic in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Some accused them of price gouging.
“It hit us right here," Mattson said. “It hurt because they got it so wrong.”
Mattson said they started that day at $2.19 a gallon for regular gas and raised the prices as people kept pumping.
“We didn't want our pumps to burn up, and we didn't want to be sitting here without fuel for two days, and we honestly thought people would stop pumping fuel, but they didn't,” Mattson said.
Mattson said the price ended up just over $4 a gallon for about 30 minutes before they finally ran out.
“We made the best decisions we could at the time thinking that every other time raising the gas price had slowed down fuel sales,” Mattson said. “This was a phenomenon we've never seen before.”
Mattson wants the community to know the price increases Thursday had nothing to do with greed -- just trying to conserve the fuel they had. He said he does his best to look out for his customers at the pump and for anyone hit by the unexpected.
Butterman's price for a gallon of regular unleaded was back down to $2.49 a gallon Tuesday afternoon. They were still out of plus and premium gas.
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