Floods Cause Temporary South Florida Fuel Shortage

Most distributors back in business after 5 days
South Florida flood
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has sent more than 500,000 gallons of fuel from Central Florida to stations in Southeast Florida after historic flooding from an April 12 storm led to a gasoline shortage near Port Everglades, an entry point for 40% of the state’s fuel.

The Florida Attorney General's Price Gouging Hotline remained activated Wednesday, as despite shortages, any price gouging during a State of Emergency is unlawful, the Florida Division of Emergency Management said. 

On April 13, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for Broward County after torrential downpours dropped 30 inches of rain on eastern Broward County and flooded the petroleum terminals at Port Everglades, causing delays in delivering the fuel to area gas stations, according to the Palm Beach Post.

The Florida Department of Transportation's Emergency Order 23-65 allows larger quantities of fuel to be delivered to storm-impacted areas by waiving some regulations and allowing for additional fuel trucks to haul fuel quickly from Port Canaveral and Port Tampa Bay to the South Florida region. The fuel haulers were operating with extended hours to expedite the larger deliveries of fuel, the Florida Division of Emergency Management said.

The Florida Highway Patrol and other law enforcement partners were escorting the fuel tankers to Broward County.

On April 12, 2023, widespread showers and thunderstorms occurred overnight and produced significant rainfall totals, with certain areas of Broward County, including Fort Lauderdale and Dania, witnessing heavy rainfall of over 25 inches, in addition to consequential flooding. The rainfall and flooding may continue to impact the operational capability of critical infrastructure, including major state and county roadways, airports, hospitals, schools and other critical infrastructure throughout Broward County.

Many gas stations reported outages of one or more kinds of gasoline for four or five days, and authorities told consumers to use the GasBuddy app to learn where gas was available, WPBF.com said. The affected petroleum distributors were operational again as of Tuesday and the shortage was expected to be resolved, the Post reported.

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