Capital Weather Gang • Perspective
We still don’t know how to talk about floods
The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Florida Gov. Rick Scott orders highway patrol escorts for fuel trucks to get gas to stations

Drivers wait in line Thursday at a Chevron station in Miami. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Fuel shortages at gas stations across the state are complicating the mass exodus in South Florida, but state officials say they are on task to ensure there is enough fuel for the thousands of residents and visitors fleeing ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Thursday ordered state highway patrol escorts for fuel trucks across the state, and at a noon news conference he urged gas stations to remain open as long as possible. He said police escorts will get gas station employees out safely if necessary before Irma arrives.

The state ports were operating as of Thursday afternoon, he said, bringing in fuel and supplies.

“We’re aggressively working to get fuel out,” Scott tweeted.

But across the state, residents were reporting long lines at gas stations, covered pumps and long waits for fuel deliveries. In Miami, some residents said it was “extremely difficult” to find water and gas in Miami-Dade County.

The Florida Department of Health recommended people use an app to help find stations that still have gas.

Scott said residents should take only the gas they need, to make sure there’s enough for everyone. Local officials ordered residents of beach areas to evacuate as Hurricane Irma closed in. Mandatory evacuations were also issued in the Florida Keys. See this list of evacuation orders for more information.

Besides the challenges of finding gas, Floridians are paying more at the pump this week. Fuel prices are up about 50 cents a gallon since Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast a week ago. However, some residents were reporting paying several dollars more per gallon than usual.

Since Harvey, gas prices at the pump are up 50 cents a gallon

Motorists in 26 states were paying 25 to 44 cents more for a gallon of unleaded compared with a week before, AAA said Monday. In Florida, they are paying 36 cents on average than they did before Harvey. And prices could continue to climb, AAA said.