PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Several days after the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, some gas stations in Tampa Bay are feeling an impact.
AAA officials say while there is not a gasoline shortage from the shutdown in Florida, some gas stations may be out of gas because people are panic-buying.READ MORE: CDC Recommends Everyone Wear A Mask In Public Places
One of the local gas stations being affected is the Marathon on East Bay Drive in Largo and an employee says they’ve been out of gas since Tuesday afternoon. If you showed up to the gas station on Wednesday you saw signs saying ‘Regular out, mid-grade out and premium out.’
Motorist Jesse Burgess, says he was surprised to see local gas stations out of fuel. He says “I’m on the way to work. This is the first time I’ve seen this happen here.”
Over the last few days, the same situation happens at a handful of gas stations in the Tampa Bay Area: First drivers turn into a gas station, pull up to the pump, look at the signs, and then drivers leave to the next gas station.
“It’s probably going to frustrate a lot of people. People won’t be able to get to where they need to go,” said Burgess.READ MORE: Hillsborough County Schools Faces Bus Driver Shortage
Another motorist Christina Anthony, shared with CW44 News At 10 that she wasn’t expecting to see signs covering the gas pumps. She experienced the same issue in her area that the pumps are dry.
Burgess says the lack of gas is a little inconvenient but is taking it in stride. “I guess I’m going to try to find gas somewhere else and try to get to work on time.”
CW44’s Casey Albritton found two gas stations out of gas on Wednesday. One was the Circle K on Belcher Road and the other was the Marathon on East Bay Drive.
AAA officials released a statement saying the pipeline isn’t impacting Florida’s gas supply directly and “…it’s likely that motorists are seeing reports about supply issues in other states – due to the pipeline – and are racing out to top off their tanks.” It’s what AAA calls panic-buying.MORE NEWS: Polk County Sheriff's Office Searching For Suspect In Murder
Something Anthony and Burgess say is creating an unnecessary issue. “Look what happened with toilet paper [during the pandemic]. People get scared. I think it’s a natural reaction. But then you have a situation like mine where it was out of my control and I’ve only got a little bit of gas and I need some,” said Anthony.