With Hurricane Matthew threatening Florida’s east coast, reports of gasoline outages at stations across the state have been skyrocketing, AAA reported.
The auto club group said residents have been “topping-off their tanks at a rate that gas stations can’t possibly keep up with, so pump closures are becoming a common sight.”
“This is actually a good sign that residents are heeding the warning and doing what they can to either get ready or get out,” AAA Spokesman Mark Jenkins said in a news release. “But it’s understandably unnerving for residents wondering when the next shipment of fuel will come in. That question has a lot of variables, but odds are if your gas station is currently out of gas, it may not be replenished until after the storm passes.”
While there is plenty of supply — Florida’s gasoline supply is delivered on tanker ships via the water — most ports along the east coast are temporarily closed due to the storm and may not reopen until Monday, according to AAA.
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That means it may be difficult to get the gas to individual stations.
Port Everglades and the Port of Tampa have the largest storage capacity of gasoline in the state, AAA said.
The aftermath of the storm — power outages and debris — could also impact gas availability, AAA reported.
Despite the outages, AAA said the state’s average price for a gallon of regular gas was $2.19, which is about 5 cents less than last week.
Residents who believe a business may be price gouging are urged to call the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM.