As Holthaus noted in a blog about the storm, Irma’s hurricane-force wind-field is roughly the size of MA and packs five times the overall destructive power of Andrew’s, thanks to its massive size. Shortages were more widespread in the northern city of Gainesville, where 58% of stations had no fuel left.
Even Tallahassee, the state capitol that is around 500 miles away from Miami, is experiencing outages in at least 21 percent of its gas stations, according to GasBuddy.
Eighteen states saw an average one-week price increase of more 30 cents, ranging from 42 cents in DE to 36 cents in the Carolinas.
Florida Governor Rick Scott is trying to ease gas shortages by directing state police to escort fuel delivery trucks to speed up deliveries along evacuation routes.
GasBuddy on Friday launched an update to its mobile app that allows drivers and gas stations to report the availability of diesel, in addition to gasoline.
Late on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center issued the first hurricane warnings for the Keys and parts of southern Florida, including some of the Miami metropolitan area. Roadways were jammed as residents fled areas expected to see extensive flooding. As of Friday morning, Hawaii posted the highest average price per gallon, $3.36, almost a dollar more than in Oklahoma, where it was the lowest at $2.37. Passengers are urged not to travel to the airport unless they have checked their flight is operating.
The good news for Florida evacuees is that the state’s ports are open and prioritizing fuel deliveries, for now at least. A fuel ship from a MS refinery was given a military escort to the Port of Tampa.
Supplies at Florida gas stations were likely in a worse position than usual due to Hurricane Harvey, which forced refinery closures that squeezed suppliers and led to a price spikes across the country.
“Thanks to Harvey shutting down an extensive amount of refining capacity, the national average gasoline price saw its largest weekly jump since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005 when the national average jumped 49 cents in a week”, DeHaan said.