Hurricane Ike affected Florida A&M University students and the Tallahassee area as people were forced to adjust to rising gasoline prices.
The community hurried to the gas stations this weekend to beat the gas increase.
When roommates warned Andrea Bruno, 20, that gas stations around town were short on regular gas, the third-year accounting student from Tampa went to fill up her tank immediately.
After trips to three gas stations, she was able to fill her tank at the GATE gas station off of Call Street. Premium was the only type of gas left and at $4.00 a gallon, Bruno said she will not be financially prepared if gas prices rise.
Bruno said she heard a rumor about gas going up a dollar if Hurricane Ike hit the oil refineries. She said if that happened, she would get a gas container and fill up her car.
Ike caused a spike in gas prices and shortages in Tallahassee, while pounding Galveston, Texas Saturday morning. The hurricane also caused flooding and power outages near the nation’s oil refineries.
The Situation Report, provided to The Famuan by the U.S. Department of Energy, stated 15 oil refineries were shut down in Texas and Louisiana because of Ike. It also stated that the refineries can produce a total of 3.9 million barrels per day. There were 39 major natural gas plants in the path of Ike, while 30 remained closed as of Sunday.
Major crude pipelines were shut down due to evacuations of personnel in facilities, according to the report. However, no damage to natural gas pipelines occurred and re-population of facilitiespipelines occurred and re-population of facilities will begin on Tuesday, according to the report.
The American Automobile Association released a fuel gauge report that stated the average gas price for regular fuel in Tallahassee is $3.83, which was a three-cent jump from Friday to Saturday.
The national average increased nearly six cents during the same period with $3.79 for regular gas.
Along with gas prices, gas shortages around town were enough to create long lines at gas stations, including one at Petro, located on South Adams Street near FAMU’s campus.
On Friday around 9 a.m., lines began to form said Nick Sheriff, Petro manager.
Sheriff said his station received a shipment of unleaded fuel on Saturday. Another shipment will arrive either Monday night or Tuesday.
He said receiving a shipment of gas is “not easy for us to get because of the hurricane.”
The Department of Energy’s Press Secretary, Healy Baumgardner, stated the department is doing everything possible to minimize impact to American families as a result of Ike.
Baumgardner stated that the emergency oil exchanges from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are taking place to prevent any disruption to the supply.
“The department is also working with the public to monitor gas price gouging on the web site and through the hotline,” Baumgardner said. It is also coordinating with the Environmental Protection Agency to “issue multi-state fuel waivers,” which will allow more flexibility for fuel distribution.
Refineries that were impacted by hurricanes Ike and Gustav were located in the following regions: Houston, Galveston, the Lower Mississippi River, Lake Charles, Port Arthur and Corpus Christi.
For gas updates or to report gas gouging, please go to http://gaswatch.gov/ or call the toll-free hotline 1-800-244-3301. For daily averages of gas prices, go to www.aaa.com.