Several gas stations in Florida ran out of gas Thursday as Hurricane Irma approached the state.
Supplies fell as people heeded evacuation orders for some southern parts of the state. Last week, Hurricane Harvey crippled oil refineries in Texas, creating shortages even before Irma made landfall in the Caribbean.
“There’s a double whammy going on where we were already experiencing a shortage, and everyone is trying to buy gas because they are trying to leave Florida,” said Allison Mac, a petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, a price and availability portal.
According to GasBuddy, 43% of all gas stations in Miami and 20% in Orlando were without gas as of Wednesday morning.
The National Hurricane Center projects that Irma will reach South Florida over the weekend before moving up the state’s east coast. The storm killed at least nine people as it ploughed into several Caribbean islands earlier this week.
Unlike Hurricane Harvey, Irma is unlikely to drive up gas prices across America. That’s because Florida, unlike Texas, does not have oil refineries that would be shuttered by the storm.
“What’s happening right now is very isolated to the Florida market,” Mac told Business Insider.
According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of regular gas was $US2.67 on Thursday, up from $US2.45 a week ago.
Florida Power, which serves nearly half of Florida, planned a blackout because of the hurricane on Friday, Bloomberg reported. Such an outage could make it harder for people to get other necessities from gas stations even if they can buy gas, Mac said.
% without ⛽️:
MIA 43% ⬆️2
W PALM 32% ⬇️10
GAINESVL 32% ⬆️2
TPA 30% ↔️
FT MYERS/NAP 29% ⬇️2
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