TAMPA, Fla. - Each gas station can only hold so much fuel at a given time, and when those tanks are empty, businesses have to wait for the next shipment. Once weather conditions deteriorate, it won't be safe to make those deliveries and bring fuel to the area. It's a routine that Floridians should keep in mind, experts say.
According to AAA, while gas prices in Florida have dropped 4 cents, they are reminding people to not panic as Hurricane Ian approaches the state.
"In the coming days, it's possible that gas stations will temporarily run out of fuel, due to an influx in demand from evacuees or people topping off their tanks and filling spare gas cans," according to a news release from AAA. "However, it's also important for drivers to remember that these outages are temporary."
They point out that Florida's gasoline is mainly from refineries in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. That gasoline sales into Florida's ports, picked up by tanker trucks and delivered to area gas stations.
LINK: Track Ian on MyFOXHurricane.com
"Gas stations are not connected to an underground pipeline. Just like your vehicle, each gas station can only hold so much fuel at a given time. That fuel is stored in tanks underground. Once those tanks are empty, retailers bag the pumps and wait for the next delivery truck. Sometimes that can be the same day, sometimes longer. It can vary," according to AAA. "Fuel deliveries should continue until the weather conditions make it unsafe to do so. Once the storm passes and the ports reopen, shipments of gasoline will begin flowing into the state again. Gasoline can also be driven over from surrounding counties or states that are not impacted by the storm."
When it comes to gas prices, the company noted that gas prices in Florida dropped 4 centers per gallon since last week. Drivers are now paying an average of $3.38 per gallon, which is the lowest daily average since January. Gas and oil futures plunged 7% last week.
"Since Ian is not projected to impact the refineries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, it's unlikely that the storm itself or the resulting demand, would cause pump prices to spike," said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman. "The bottom line is, don't panic about gasoline supplies, just take what you need. The state makes it a priority to keep gasoline shipments going as long as it's safe to do so. Once the storm passes, shipments will resume as soon as possible."