Thursday, 7 September 2017

'Panic buying' sparks gas shortages in Florida - and it's likely to get worse

Florida residents racing to get out of Hurricane Irma's destructive path have encountered a serious obstacle: gasoline shortages.

At least 40% of gas stations in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region are without fuel, according to estimates from crowdsourcing platform GasBuddy.
About one-third of the gas stations in the West Palm Beach and the Fort Myers-Naples regions are in the same position. Central population centers like Tampa are also being affected, as well as the northern Gainesville region, GasBuddy numbers show.
The shortages have been sparked by a powerful one-two punch to the nation's energy infrastructure: huge demand from residents fleeing highly-populated regions and refinery disruptions caused by Hurricane Harvey.
"It's like the church on Easter Sunday getting a tornado warning," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.
Kloza predicted gas shortages will worsen in the coming days as Hurricane Irma -- a massive Category 5 storm -- as "panic buying" continues and gasoline deliveries are blocked by Florida port shutdowns.

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