The state of Florida is arranging to get more fuel to Florida’s gas stations and make sure tankers are kept safe on the way, according to news release issued Thursday, Sept. 7, from the office of Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
State police have been directed to escort tankers to gas stations on evacuation routes, and Florida ports are prioritizing fuel shipments, according to the news release.
Emergency fuel contractors have secured 1.5 million gallons of fuel for initial delivery and confirmed that additional fuel supply is on standby for future deliveries.
There is a fuel ship in route from a refinery in Mississippi to the Port of Tampa for resupply. Scott has directed the State Emergency Response Team to arrange a military escort into port.
Another ship currently in Tampa is unloading more than 300,000 barrels of fuel to resupply gas stations in the evacuation zones.
The state has also worked with fuel suppliers to identify excess fuel in the Western Panhandle to potentially arrange escorts to ensure that there is fuel supply where needed for evacuations.
The state is working to identify other fuel ships that can be diverted to Florida ports for fuel supply.
“We are aggressively working around the clock to bring more fuel to Florida gas stations,” Scott said in the news release. “I have held calls with the federal government, fuel retailers and oil companies to find ways to address this issue. During these calls, I made it clear to retailers and oil companies that I must know exactly what they need so we can work to get fuel to Floridians fast. We have asked fuel companies to identify ships that are in route to our ports so we can arrange military escorts to get them here faster. To further expedite fuel delivery, I have directed state police to escort fuel trucks to gas stations along evacuation routes. For gas stations in evacuation zones: we need you to stay open as long as possible so people can get out. We will arrange police escorts for your employees so they can get out safely. We need your gas stations to stay open as long as possible.
“… I have also waived restrictions and regulations to expedite the ability of fuel trucks to deliver to stations. Also, at my request, the same restrictions have been waived in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama.
“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.”