Gas crisis hits Miami immediately after Fort Lauderdale storms

Port Everglades, where most of South Florida's gas enters Photo credit: Yanjipy, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Lines filled up gas stations throughout South Florida, leaving residents in a panic to find gas.

According to the Miami Herald, Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis at Gas Buddy, said this shortage is ultimately due to “panic-buying.” Panic-buying happens when people notice a shortage and immediately buy more product than they need.

Authorities say the shortage is due to delays at Port Everglades after flooding in Fort Lauderdale on April 12th. The flooding submerged the pumps and made it difficult for the trucks to make their regular deliveries. The port is responsible for supplying gas to 2,800 gas stations including those in Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

In the meantime, the Florida Department of Transportation allowed heavier fuel loads to be transported to South Florida, while the State Emergency Response Team deployed 500,000 gallons of fuel on Wednesday, April 19.

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a statement that Tampa and Port Canaveral are currently sending fuel to Miami in efforts to help. She said South Florida should expect the shortage to resolve and foresees no additional gas shortages.

Junior Juliette Valle lives in Broward County. She said the combination of the gas shortage and bad weather made her hour commute even more difficult.

“I drive an hour to school every single day, so not having a reliable gas source made life extremely tough,” said Valle.

With a large majority of students that live off-campus, a gas shortage makes getting to classes a challenge.

Journalism student Emily Melissinos lives off campus and uses her car to drive to classes every day. Melissinos had plans to make her three-hour drive home to Orlando, but she said finding gas was a struggle.

“There’s about three gas stations near my apartment, and none of them had any gas. It was crazy,” Melissinos said.

“I needed to get to my class on Tuesday, and I was almost late after searching for gas,” said sophomore Katie Jarvis, who lives 15 minutes from campus.

“I heard South Miami was in a gas shortage, and I immediately drove around until I found an open gas station. I didn’t know how long it was going to last,” said health science major Bella Messer.

Experts said it becomes hard to replenish the gas when residents start filling up multiple vehicles and gas cans, instead of what they need. Levine Cava emphasized the importance of only getting gas when it is necessary.

“We ask that residents think twice before they head to the pump,” Cava said.