AAA warns of long lines at panhandle gas stations, some stations out of fuel


TAMPA, Fla. – Florida drivers are dealing with long lines at gas stations in the panhandle, as residents prepare for Hurricane Michael to come ashore. AAA said the surge in demand has left some gas stations on empty, but fuel trucks are operating around the clock to meet the high demand as residents evacuate.

"Gasoline outages in the panhandle are spotty, but not widespread," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "There continues to be plenty of fuel supply in the state, but getting a tanker truck to a gas station - before it runs out of fuel - can be a challenge during a time of such high demand. State officials say gas trucks will continue making deliveries until winds reach 45 mph, at which time it is deemed unsafe for them to operate."

AAA does not expect Hurricane Michael to cause a significant increase in prices at the pump despite the high demand.

Last year, gas prices spiked 40 to 50 cents a gallon after Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the Gulf Coast, causing the closings of both refineries and oil rigs in the region.

Hurricane Michael's predicted track runs well east of most energy structures, avoiding concerns of any major supply disruption.

Florida gas prices are holding steady Tuesday at $2.82 per gallon- the same price as Monday and last week but 29 cents more than last year.