TAMPA, Fla. — Some Tampa gas stations are running out of fuel as experts urge consumers against buying gasoline in a panic. This comes as one of the country’s largest gasoline suppliers, Colonial Pipeline, shut down over the weekend due to a cyberattack. Colonial Pipeline supplies about 45% of fuel along the east coast, forcing some states to experience a crippling shortage.
ABC Action News found pumps out of service at the Shell station at Florida Avenue and Hillsborough as well as the Circle K at Kennedy Boulevard and South Howard Avenue.
“I see cars lined up to get gas but there’s no gas,” said Domani Davis. “I came to stop by and get gas and I see all the pumps saying sorry out of service.”
A Thorntons in Oldsmar also ran out but was quickly refilled by a tanker Wednesday.
“Thank God for truck drivers. Because they keep this country rolling, they really do," said Rick Huegel, who Lives in Oldsmar.
Experts say the pipeline closure does not directly impact the majority of Florida’s gasoline supply but a surge in panic buying is causing some shortages.
Mark Jenkins with AAA warns now is not the time to buy and store gasoline.
“We get so much gas from ships that sail over from the Gulf of Mexico from refineries in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi,” said Jenkins. “Those ships keep moving through. Even if the Colonial Pipeline is down, we still get ships that are sailing across the Gulf and they’re making their gasoline deliveries in Florida.”
Jenkins says 90% of Florida's gas comes on cargo ships through ports and imports from other countries.
“Don’t panic. If you need gas get it. Don’t hoard it, just fill up your tank and try to be cautious," said Alan Popejoy, who lives in Pinellas county. "If you don’t need to go out don’t go out. Save gas.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Tuesday night, stating the disruption of the Colonial Pipeline operations poses a “significant and immediate threat” to fuel delivery to Florida.
"It’s going to cause a lot of problems for people just the convenience of life, but also for our economy. Now we’re relaxing restrictions in terms of the wait to get more fuel trucks to the parts of Florida that need more fuel.”
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