DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - South Florida residents in Hurricane Matthew’s cone of concern rushed to gas stations to fuel up their vehicles, Thursday, but many hit a road block when they discovered several locations had run dry.
Motorist Veronica Arana pulled into a Mobile station in Southwest Miami-Dade to fill up her SUV, only to be informed that there was no more gas. “I’ve been trying to fill up my gas tank since last night,” she said.
Handwritten notes were taped over empty pumps as drivers turned around and sought gas elsewhere. “You’ve got to stay on top of this stuff, especially during hurricane season, you know,” said Marcelo Gomez, “especially if you’re a native Floridian like I am. You know the stuff, You know the drill already. Be ready, people.”
7Skyforce HD hovered above long lines snaking out of an operational station off the Palmetto Expressway in Miami-Dade County.
Dozens of drivers sat in their cars awaiting their turn at the pump at the Costco in Kendall. “Well, I’ve been here for about an hour,” said Hector Berlingeri. “I was all the way down there, by the entrance, and I finally got to this line, so, you know, it’s patience.”
But patience was in short supply as the stress over the incoming storm grew.
Some drivers told 7News they did not expect so many stations to be empty this soon. “Down by BJ’s [Wholesale Club], I watched one close there,” said Estelle Myers. “Out by my house, near the zoo, two have closed there, so yeah, if you don’t have gas, get it now because they’re closing quickly.”
The workers tasked with refueling local stations said they are doing the best they can and will work around the clock as long as it’s safe. “[This is] like my fifth stop for today, and every stop I’ve come to, they were closed like this because they were completely out of gas,” said Craig Ellis of MGM Transport as he pointed at yet another dry station.
Beginning as early as Tuesday night, drivers were faced with either the premium option or nothing at a RaceTrac station in Hallandale Beach.
Other stations remained taped up on Wednesday afternoon. “You’ve got to be prepared,” said Andre Borque. “You never know what’s going to happen.”
“It is scary,” said Arana.
State officials urged residents who encounter price gouging at gas stations to contact them. For more information, click here.
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