More fuel headed to Tampa and parts of the Bay after Hurricane Irma

TAMPA, Fla. - The lines at gas stations around Tampa were much shorter Wednesday and drivers were relieved to see many stations once again had fuel.

That’s not the case for all parts of the Bay though. Areas around Polk and Highlands Co. are still suffering from a shortage.

However, help may be on the way.

Four petroleum vessels unloaded fuel at Port Tampa Bay with eleven more expected to arrive.

Samara Sodos, a spokesperson for Port Tampa Bay says there was never a shortage of fuel at the port with tanker trucks loading with gas shortly after they opened facilities on Monday morning.

Troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol were on hand at Port Tampa Bay escorting drivers in fuel trucks headed along the interstate to areas around Naples.

They’ve been helping escort trucks all week, focusing on areas with high traffic volumes like the turnpike and I-75.  

They’ve even helped deliver to stations without power, however, most of those remain closed since they can’t provide fuel.

Drivers around Tampa noticed the difference.

“It's way easier,” said Jason Young, who drove back to Florida from Wisconsin where he stayed with family during Hurricane Irma. “Way more convenient, less stressful especially when you have to get back to stuff like work and everything like that and it's taking way longer than you calculated - so yeah a lot of relief.”

While the shorter lines at the pump are a relief, some drivers aren’t taking it for granted.

“This is definitely an eye opener,” said Alex Wychor, “as far as making sure you're prepared and especially how far before and how far after a major event like this when you can be affected by that.”  

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