Hurricane Irma brings long lines at the pump but no price gouging

Handy Food Store employees Alexis Laureano and Keisha Hawkins spend hours outside the gas station helping to direct traffic in an effort to keep vehicles moving quickly through the station. (Submitted photo/Travis Anderson)

The threat of Hurricane Irma making landfall in our area sent local residents into a panic. Long lines at the pump started well before the hurricane made landfall.

In anticipation of a fuel shortage, Florida Governor Rick Scott took action by working with neighboring states to lift weight regulations for fuel trucks heading into Florida. Additionally, Governor Scott worked with Florida Highway Patrol officials to ensure that fuel trucks were moved quickly into various areas of the state.

After the hurricane passed, power outages and a fuel shortage continued to plague southwest Florida even though the Governor has held daily phone calls with fuel supply stakeholders.

Mr. Jackson of Immokalee said that he waited in line for three hours to fill up at the Handy Food Store located at the corner of North 15th Street and Immokalee Drive. When he finally made it to the pump he was told there was a $30 limit.

Although the limit was tough to swallow for some, the limit kept the long lines moving and helped to ensure that just about everyone who needed fuel was able to get some.

Drivers wait in line only to find out the Handy Food Store located at the corner of Lake Trafford Road and North 19th Street was out of gas. (Submitted photo/Travis Anderson)

Some local residents were even worried that they might be overpaying for gasoline as they noticed that the prices were missing from the larger signs near the roadway. However, a quick check at various gas stations in town verified that those purchasing regular gasoline were getting it for $2.69 per gallon which is just above the national average of $2.63 per gallon according to AAA.

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