Hurricane Ian not expected to impact gas prices but locals stocking up anyway

Man fills up truck with gas at Jacksonville station. (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hurricane Ian is not expected to impact gas prices which have gone back up about 8 cents over the last week.

The national average is now back at 3.74 for a gallon of regular gas. Florida’s average is $3.39 and Georgia’s is among the lowest in the nation at $3.15.

Governor Ron DeSantis said Tuesday the state has as much gas as it possibly can in preparation for the storm and he’s asked that people avoid “panic” buying supplies. News4JAX spoke to some locals Tuesday who said they’d rather be over-prepared as this isn’t their first major storm.

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Latoshia Royal who’s from Miami lived through Hurricane Andrew in 1992, a much different storm than Hurricane Ian.

“It was bad,” Royal said. “Three people died in the house next to us, the roof blew off, my uncle didn’t prepare because they said it wasn’t going to hit there.”

She’s stocking up on essential items at grocery stores, like hundreds of others News4JAX saw Tuesday, saying she’s learned to never underestimate Mother Nature.

“Anything that happens with a storm we usually miss it, but this kind of turned, and I was like ok it’s coming this time,” Royal said.

MORE: Ian impacts on Jacksonville: Flooding rains with power outages

Some store shelves are bare like one at Publix off Atlantic Blvd, but grocery store managers expect to restock the essential items that are in short supply. At area gas stations the lines were growing, but nothing out of the ordinary for Floridians preparing for the days ahead.

″I think people are taking this seriously. I was at the sheriff’s office working down there, and they are taking it seriously, hopefully, it’s not as crucial as they think, you know,” said Toby Lantz.

Lantz said what’s most concerns him the most is Hurricane Ian’s projected track, which is subject to change as the powerful storm gets closer to the state.

Shoppers said they’ve noticed people are beginning to panic buy which is only adding more anxiety.

″At Costco last night, for example, there was no water so that was the biggest thing people always panic because of water, they fly off the shelves,” said Denitza Mladonava.

And if you’re looking to stock up on necessary supplies, but notice the prices seem suspiciously high you may not be wrong.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has activated the state’s price gouging hotline to make sure retailers aren’t taking advantage of Floridians in their time of need.

Residents can call 1-866-9-NO-SCAM to report suspected gouging or report it online at MyFloridaLegal.com.


About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.