South Florida

Gasoline Still in High Demand But Short Supply

After food and water, few commodities are as precious in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma as gasoline.

"You can hardly find anybody who has gas," said Gloria Maraima. "We've been driving around trying to find gas and couldn't find any."

A shortage of gasoline before and after a hurricane has been an issue during this storm as it was during previous hurricanes. It's why the state passed a law after Hurricane Wilma requiring new gas stations and those along evacuation routes to have the capability of having a generator.

But we found two stations on a list provided by the county that promised generator capacity but no generators were connected. 

A Shell station owner in Hollywood, Andy Alsina, was fortunate. He had gas in his tanks, electricity in his wires and a line of cars waiting to fill up.

"Because I got a load before the storm and when I opened this morning, I had gas," Alsina said.

But a station a mile west of Alsina's has electricity but no gas.
"Because the port is closed that's why no delivery," said Nur Euddin, the station manager.

Port Everglades, where six million gallons of gasoline shipments for South Florida arrive daily, has been closed since Friday.

Broward County's Mayor Barbara Sharief says there is plenty stored at the port to help.

"Before the storm, we had approximately 8.4 million gallons of fuel at the port," said Sharief. 

But the problem is fuel companies aren't trucking out enough.

Politicians know a gasoline shortage is an explosive issue.

"We're doing everything we can to get fuel back in the state," said Governor Rick Scott. "We're getting it out through our carriers. We're giving them law enforcement escorts." 

But there was little evidence of that in South Florida Monday because of long lines, short tempers and the lucky few who could fuel up.

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