Need gas before Hurricane Irma? Pack some patience

Drivers scour South Florida in search of gas

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor , Jenise Fernandez - Reporter , Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Drive from city to city in South Florida and there is rarely a gas station that isn't tapped out or filled with a line of vehicles stretching into the street.

Perhaps it's memories of Hurricane Wilma, the 2005 hurricane that crippled gas stations for weeks after the storm.

Or maybe it's fears from Hurricane Harvey, still fresh in everyone's minds.

Either way, residents bracing for Hurricane Irma have to pack some patience at the gas pump.

Employees at a Chevron gas station on Miramar Parkway off Interstate 75 said they had sold 18,000 gallons of gas from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., which is the amount they typically sell in a 24-hour period. 

Local 10 News reporter Jeff Weinsier saw residents in the area filling up on gas, one who said she planned to drive out of state to get away from the storm and another who was filling up gas containers to take to relatives in Miami-Dade County.

Meanwhile, drivers at a RaceTrac in South Miami Heights early Wednesday were greeted with a message from an employee on a loudspeaker.

"We ran out of gas," she said. "We have no gas whatsoever. I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you."

That wasn't the case at the Mobil gas station on Northwest 87th Avenue off Miami Gardens Drive.

People waited in long lines for their turn at the pump, filling their tanks and portable gas canisters.

Some needed the extra gas for their generators. Others just wanted to avoid waiting in long lines again.

Dagoberto Gonzalez told Local 10 News that he tried to get gas Tuesday but didn't have any luck, so he decided to wake up early to top off his car's gas tank.

"I'm a little jittery because of what happened in Houston, so, you never know," Gonzalez said. "Just taking all the precautions I can."

A Chevron gas station across the street had no lines. It also had bags over all the pumps -- an indication that there was no more gas.

Shortly after 7 a.m., the Mobil gas station ran out.

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