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South Florida faces fuel supply issues after devastating storm

Florida facing gas shortage after flooding
Florida facing gas shortage after historic flooding 01:44

Some parts of South Florida were dealing with major gas supply issues after a storm last week brought torrential rain and flooding to the region, causing fuel delivery delays.

A staggering 59% of all gas stations in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area were out of fuel at one point Tuesday, along with another 21% of gas stations in West Palm Beach, according to fuel tracker Some of those shortages were the result of a "panic buying spree, which overwhelmed the system," said Patrick De Haan, head of Gasbuddy's petroleum analysis. 

He said that there were still "millions of gallons of gasoline still waiting to be delivered." De Haan estimated it would take about a week for things to get back to normal.

Lamar P. Fisher, mayor of Broward County — which includes Fort Lauderdale — said in a statement Monday that "the loading and delivering of petroleum products" was "disrupted on April 12 during the unprecedented storm that flooded greater Fort Lauderdale."

South Florida Suffers From Gas Shortages After Last Week's Severe Weather Disrupts Supply Chain
Vehicles line up to get fuel at a gas station on April 17, 2023 in Miami, Florida.  Getty Images

Fisher said that, as of Monday, three fuel tankers were in port at Port Everglades, and another five were "offshore waiting to unload."

"Fuel supply arriving at Port Everglades remains sufficient and deliveries to the consumers are anticipated to increase at a regular pace over the next few days," Fisher said.

He also called on drivers not to panic buy.

"There is no need to panic or rush to the pumps," Fisher said.  

The Florida Division of Emergency Management on Tuesday said that the State Emergency Response Team was sending 500,000 gallons of fuel to Southeast Florida and that the first trucks should be arriving by Tuesday night.

Many residents were left scouring the region for gas, and on Tuesday, there were long lines of cars waiting to fill up at those stations which did have fuel.  

Ramario Castillo told CBS News he was hoping he wouldn't have to push his vehicle, which was sitting on empty as he waited in line, into a gas station.

"You know, it's really crazy, the anxiety it gives," driver Eduardo Travieso told CBS Miami. "Like, last night, I was driving all over the place. Like, I work this morning, I'm supposed to be at work already."

Last week's storm brough more than two feet of rain to part of Fort Lauderdale, with the ensuing flooding leaving many residents stranded in their homes. It forced the closure of Broward County Public Schools, one of the largest school districts in the nation, and also shuttered Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport for about two days. 

— Manuel Bojorquez contributed reporting.  

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