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Long Lines Form For Gas Across Florida Ahead Of Hurricane Dorian

DAVIE (CBSMIAMI) - Gas is in high demand as residents of Broward and Miami-Dade stock up before Hurricane Dorian makes landfall in Florida.

Long lines began forming at a number of stores across South Florida early Friday morning.

At the Costco in Davie, there were long lines for gas before dawn. The line stretched out of the parking lot onto State Road 84. Some drivers got up very early to wait in the line to ensure they would get gas.

"I'm tired. Getting ready for this, there is a lot of preparation going into this. It's going to be bad. Don't take it lightly, it's going to be bad. I was going to get out of town but I remember last time, you know when everybody waited until the last minute, you couldn't get out, the highways were just jam-packed. So I'm just going to ride it out and hope for the best," said Paul Reeves as he waited in line.

Long lines have been reported at various stations throughout the tri-county area, with wait times varying between a few minutes up to an hour. Long lines have also been reported across the state, especially in Brevard County.

Miami-Dade officials urged residents to fill up their gas tanks in case they needed to evacuate. They also urged people to fill gas cans for their generators and gas-powered tools.

Some stations have run out of gas.

"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 Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman. "However, work will continue as long as it is safe, to resupply those tanks. Although there is still plenty of gasoline in the state, the challenge is getting it from the terminals to the pump. Florida will continue receiving shipments of gasoline, as long as the ports remain open. Drivers of fuel tankers will continue making deliveries until it is no longer safe to do so."

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, Port Everglades, and Tampa. Once delivered to the port, tanker trucks line up at the port's terminals to be filled with fuel and then drive to gas stations. This process continues until the port shuts down due to tropical storm-force winds, and road conditions have deteriorated.

During a briefing Friday morning, Governor Ron DeSantis addressed the gas shortage.

"We, in an emergency declaration, waived service and trucks weights for fuel trucks so that we can increase the capacity for fuel being brought in. We are also going to be implementing Florida Highway Patrol escorts for fuel trucks so we can facilitate refueling in critical parts of the state," he said.

By waiving the service limitations, drivers can increase their maximum allotted time behind the wheel from 8 to 14 hours. By waiving weight restrictions on tanker trucks, the legal capacity of what each truck can carry goes from 8,000 to 9,000 gallons of fuel.

DeSantis said there are some parts of the state where there are major lines for gas and it makes it more difficult for the trucks to get in.

"We have a lot of fuel in Florida, it's that we have limited capacity to bring it from the ports to the gas stations because you can only have so many trucks at one time doing that. So recognizing that we've worked with FEMA to get fuel from out of state," he said.

The governor said state officials and FEMA got Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to waive their service and truck weights so Florida can facilitate fuel coming in from out of state.

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