AUSTIN (KXAN) — As fast as gas stations can get refueled, it’s getting depleted just as fast by consumers who are worried about the fuel supply.
Gas station managers across Austin say there’s hope, however, that their fuel supply will return to normal soon. They say even though a number of gas stations have gone a few extra days without fuel deliveries, there wouldn’t be a major shortage if drivers weren’t panicking and rushing to the pumps.
“The main problem is everybody filling up at the same time,” said Rick Maknojia, a manager at Manor Express in east Austin. “If in one day everybody fills it up, it will empty the tanks, and for the delivery to come it will take a little while.”
Maknojia said a truck delivered fuel to his gas station Thursday night. It should have lasted a few days, but unleaded fuel sold out early Friday afternoon because so many people lined up to fill up their tanks.
Usually, Maknojia said, fuel deliveries are only needed every couple of days. He expects he’ll get another truckload of gas by Friday night or Saturday morning.
At 38th Street and the Interstate 35 frontage road, most gas stations were out of fuel by Friday morning. The one station that still had fuel, the Gulf station, had long, chaotic lines forming in every which way.
“They feel like a happiness, like, ‘Oh they’ve got gas here! You have gas! That’s good!” said Shirad Tsimarie, who works the cash register.
Tsimarie said his station has gone three days without a fuel delivery because of Harvey. The only reason they hadn’t run out Friday, he said, was because they have extra storage for their gas and keep more in stock than most other stations.
Tsimarie said the gas station’s suppliers say they’ll be bringing another delivery soon. “It’s coming tonight or tomorrow morning, so it’s going to be good,” Tsimarie said.