Many pumps have run dry following historic rainfall in Broward County last week, which affected fuel distribution and, in turn, caused long lines at gas stations. But that could soon change as stations are expected to be supplied with more fuel in the coming days.
If you’re going from pump to pump in search of gas or simply wondering what’s going on, read on to find out more.
Why is it happening?
Last week’s extreme weather, which dumped a historic 26 inches of rain in one day on Fort Lauderdale, disrupted operations at Port Everglades. The Ft. Lauderdale port serves a dozen counties south of Lake Okeechobee, including Miami. Roads in and out of the port were flooded, which didn’t allow trucks filled with gas and diesel to make deliveries.
While there technically isn’t a shortage of petrol, panic buying is making it difficult to keep up with overwhelming demand.
“More motorists are driving around looking for gasoline, boosting consumption, and feeling nervous about supply so they’re also buying more gasoline than they usually do, further straining a system that’s 24-48 hours behind,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told Newsweek.
“If, however, motorists could delay refilling a day or two, or just buy what they immediately need, avoid filling up, stations could likely resupply themselves faster, and the situation would be over quicker.”
What can you do?
If you are absolutely in need of gas, you can either drive around in search for a gas station that is stocked up and wait in a long line or check out GasBuddy, which tracks where gas is available near you.
To see where you can get gas, click here to visit the GasBuddy tracker and input your location.
When will things return back to normal?
Officials at Port Everglades have said that conditions have improved since the storm. On Wednesday morning, 9 of 12 terminals have recovered.
In a statement Tuesday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava reassured residents that gas is being distributed around the clock and urged that gas only be purchased when needed.
“As local gas stations are now receiving regular shipments, we ask that you think twice before heading to the pump,” she said. “By purchasing gas only when you need it, you can help local pumps stabilize operations and return to regular service to our residents more efficiently.”
In an interview with the Miami Herald Tuesday, AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said things should be getting back to normal soon.
“I’m told it could take another week before things fully stabilize and there are no noticeable issues,” Jenkins said. “This port supplies gasoline for 2,800 gas stations throughout Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach. Those terminals resumed operations over the weekend and gasoline is being loaded and transported to gas stations. At worst, there were 300 gas stations without fuel. Now there are around 50.”
Is there anything else to know?
Levine Cava has also warned that “price gouging is illegal under a state of emergency.” If you see any gas price gouging at stations, contact the Florida Price Gouging Hotline online at MyFloridaLegal.com or by calling 1-866-966-7226.
Keep an eye on your fuel, Miami!