Drivers in South Florida are desperately searching for gas after record flooding dumped feet of water on the region and even shut down the Fort Lauderdale airport last week.
Locals have been searching for fuel for days, going pump to pump with little to no luck.
"I had to travel to West Palm to get gas," said Fort Lauderdale resident Amber McKnight, who lives an hour away from the gas station she found.
Others, who were not so lucky, ended up having to abandon their cars until they found fuel.
"I probably went to 15 gas stations and none of them had gas," said Florida resident Tre Forte. "I ended up leaving my car in a parking lot temporarily because I didn’t have enough gas to get home. It was ridiculous."
At an empty Shell station in Aventura, Florida, drivers pulled in and out quickly as they realized it was yet another empty pump with signs and plastic bags over the handles. When discouraged drivers asked attendants when the station expects to get gas, the answer was always "We don't know."
But pumps that do have fuel in South Florida stick out like a pool of water in a desert.
Lines of cars have formed down streets and around blocks of fueling stations with gas, though waits could be miserable — and tensions there are high.
Arguments broke out at a gas station in the Fort Lauderdale neighborhood of Oakland Park, with drivers lined up at either end of a pump having a verbal exchange over whose turn it was to get gas. "I was here way before you," one party said after being yelled at for pulling into a lane to fuel up.
The gas scarcity is not a supply issue, but a distribution issue, Broward County officials have said. Fuel tankers that normally bring gas to South Florida had been halted due to flooding, and the trucks are now playing catch-up.
In an effort to help, the Florida Division of Emergency Management is deploying over 500,000 gallons of fuel to stations in Southeast Florida.
.@FLSERT is deploying over 500,000 gallons of fuel to stations in SE FL. The State stands ready to assist our private sector partners in fuel distribution and delivery.
— FL Division of Emergency Management (@FLSERT) April 18, 2023
FDEM also said police escorts are helping get fuel there more quickly.
"Fuel transports are being escorted into SE FL by our law enforcement partners from terminals to stations in order to expedite delivery," FDEM said in a tweet.
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