With a day left until Hurricane Irma is expected to start bringing tropical-force winds to South Florida, those in the region are flooding stores and gas stations for fuel, water and other hurricane supplies before the Category 5 storm is forecast to make landfall.
Drivers can check to see which stations still have gas using online gasoline trackers like GasBuddy, which update hourly with information on where you can still fuel up. Lines at gas stations were snaking out into the street Wednesday and Thursday as people waited to top off their tanks, and several stations ran out by mid-afternoon, taping out-of-order signs or draping caution tape over the pumps.
Gov. Rick Scott said Friday morning that the state is trying to get as much fuel into Florida as possible and asking gas stations to stay open as long as they can before the storm hits, promising police escorts to evacuate those employees safely.
Water was one of the other supplies in high demand as several stores began rationing supplies of pallets and gallons Wednesday and Thursday. As of Friday morning, several people were tweeting that various Publix stores had replenished with water, including some Publix stores in Miami Beach, which is under a mandatory evacuation order because of the risk of storm surge:
Forecasters expect Irma to be a catastrophic storm wherever it makes landfall. Those staying in South Florida are urged to have at least a gallon of water per person per day and to keep their tanks as full as possible in the event that gas pumps fail or they need to evacuate.