KEY WEST, Fla. – Gas stations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties weren’t the only ones beset by a logistical crunch cutting off fuel supplies following last week’s historic floods.
Many drivers in the Florida Keys found themselves running low on fuel as multiple gas stations in the dispersed, 100-mile-long island chain ran on empty into Wednesday.
The Keys, like Miami-Dade and Broward, also get their fuel delivered from Port Everglades, where floods knocked out several terminals last week.
Officials said it’s a particular issue in the Lower Keys.
In Key West, a three-and-a-half to four-hour — or more — drive from Port Everglades, Dion’s Quik Chik on Roosevelt Boulevard had no fuel to offer its customers.
“It’s killing us,” Timothy Peyton, a Dion’s employee said. “When inputting numbers, I’ve never put in zero.”
The station still had no gas as of Wednesday afternoon.
“We got an email that said deliveries have been released, but we’re at the end of the line as you can see,” Dion’s employee David Bloom said.
Over at Owen’s, also in Key West, fuel came in Wednesday morning. It was, at one point, one of the only stations on the island that had fuel.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this over a rainstorm,” driver Mike Farrell said.
Monroe County Mayor Craig Cates said there have been deliveries to much of the island chain since the floods, but plenty of stations remained dry.
“They’re running 24 hours of trucks out of Port Everglades, they’re coming to the Keys,” Cates said. “Key West and the Lower Keys (are) much further away and as you’re driving down here, you see how slow the traffic moves, so you can’t get (deliveries) in a hurry.”
On a remote string of islands with one way in and out, filled with tourists and residents who often commute many miles — no gas is no good.
“We’re sitting here dead in the water,” Bloom said. “There’s nothing to do.”
The deliveries depend on the private companies involved in supplying the fuel.
Cates urged Florida Keys residents to remain patient.
Officials across South Florida have urged residents not to panic-buy and conserve fuel as gas stations await shipments.