Area drivers are beginning to see some gasoline shortages as Hurricane Dorian is on track to hit Florida before the end of the Labor Day weekend.
WJCT News has received at least one report of isolated shortages at some Jacksonville Beach stations, echoing reports of gas stations without fuel across the state from AAA – The Auto Club Group.
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“Gas stations can only hold so much fuel at a time. As hurricanes approach, retailers run out of gasoline, like stores run out of water,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins.
Jenkins said the majority of Florida's gasoline supply is delivered via ships from refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. The primary fuel delivery points are the ports in Jacksonville, South Florida (Port Everglades), and Tampa.
Florida will continue receiving shipments of gasoline, as long as the ports remain open.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has asked that port terminals remain open as long as possible so trucks can pick up gasoline. He’s also waived weight restrictions on tanker trucks, which has temporarily increased the legal capacity of what they can haul.
DeSantis has also directed the Florida Highway Patrol to escort fuel trucks from ports to gas stations, as demand is already being stretched across the state.
“Fort Myers, I think they’re at 47 percent of the gas stations there, basically the same as Miami, and Miami, man, there were lines everywhere there,” DeSantis said. “I think part of that is because people are taking steps to prepare, which is not necessarily a bad thing.”
Also, a reminder to electric and plugin hybrid vehicle owners: Keep your car plugged in whenever possible so you’ll have as close to a full charge as possible if there are power outages.
- News Service of Florida reporter Jim Turner contributed to this article