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Crews were working around the clock to deliver gas and state police were escorting fuel trucks to stations along evacuation routes as residents throughout Florida were filling up their tanks ahead of Hurricane Irma.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he directed police to escort the fuel truck to stations and is working with oil companies to find ways to address fuel shortages.
“We are aggressively working around the clock to bring more fuel to Florida gas stations,” Gov. Scott said. “We know fuel is very important and we’re absolutely devoting every state resource to addressing this and we’re talking to the federal government about their support.”
Gov. Scott said he also asked fuel companies to identify ships that are in route to Florida ports so they can arrange military escorts to get them there faster.
“All Florida ports are operational and able to accept fuel shipments. Currently, there is a fuel ship in route from a refinery in Mississippi to the Port of Tampa for resupply,” Scott said.
Drivers were waiting in long lines Thursday to fill up their tanks at stations in South Florida and throughout the state. Many gas stations had to close after running out of fuel.
Officials in Monroe County, where a mandatory evacuation was ordered, said there were seven gas stations open with fuel as of 9 a.m. Thursday, and more fuel shipments were expected throughout the day. The stations are: Valero at 99 Mile Marker; Caloosa Cove at 74MM; Mobil at Key Colony Beach; Chevron at Coco Plum on Marathon; Exxon at 70th Street in Marathon; Mobil at 3328 Flagler Street in Key West; and Mobil at 1124 Roosevelt Boulevard in Key West.
“To all Floridians – if you know you are going to shelter in your county, please take only the fuel you need. You don’t need to fill your tank to the brim to stay in your county. This will help ensure all Floridians will have access to gas,” Gov. Scott said.