With Hurricane Irma aimed directly at Florida, millions of unprepared people are scrambling to make their way out of the danger zone as mandatory evacuations were issues throughout Southern Florida. Unfortunately, many have found themselves unable to leave as fuel shortages threaten the region.
The only way to get out of the Florida peninsula is to drive northward, but residents trying to flee the storms wrath have found gas stations cordoned off with yellow tape, signaling they were closed due to lack of fuel.
Over 40% of all gas stations in Miami-Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach were without fuel on Friday morning, according to estimates from crowdsourcing platform GasBuddy. Further North, Gainesville is experiencing an outage around 58% and 500 miles away from Miami, Tallahassee has over 20% of its gas stations experiencing outages.
— Chris Hush (@ChrisHushNBC) September 7, 2017
“You just have such incredible demand for gas right now as people pack up and leave,” said James Miller, director of communications for the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association.
5:30a in South Miami. Around 30 cars in front of me stopped on US1 to get gas.Dozens of stations I drove by w/o gas, 1 had 100+ cars in line pic.twitter.com/BuaqFF7AmX
— Noah Gray (@NoahGrayCNN) September 7, 2017
‘Please Go’: Florida Governor warns Residents To Evacuate Now!
Florida Gov. Rick Scott Friday urged residents in the path of Hurricane Irma to “please go” as the massive storm is expected to hit on Saturday.
“If you’ve been ordered to evacuate and are still home, please go,” Scott said. “Today is the day to do the right thing for your family and get inland to safety.” .. “We cannot save you when the storm starts,” Scott said. “So if you are in an evacuation zone and you need help, you need to tell us now.”
Scott said he knows it’s hard to evacuate your home, but said every Floridian should “take this seriously and be aggressive to protect their family.”
S.FL- If you’re in an evacuation zone, LEAVE. @PortEverglades closes tonight & fuel can't be resupplied safely locally before Irma hits.
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) September 8, 2017
— Crystal Clark Fox 13 (@1crystalclark) September 8, 2017
— black sheep (@DubOrwell) September 6, 2017
Forecasters say Irma could slam into the Miami metropolitan area over the weekend, creating one of the largest mass evacuations in US history. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are home to about 6 million people combined, many of whom are now stuck a traffic jam that stretched approximately 780 miles from Miami to Chattanooga, Tennessee.