Florida evacuees head home, could create statewide gas shortage in GA

Florida evacuees head home, could create statewide gas shortage in GA
Posted at 3:17 AM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 01:46:46-04

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - State officials are concerned Georgia will be facing a statewide shortage in gas.

The concern comes from evacuees leaving the state to head back home. 

Gas stations were packed in Tifton off of I-75 as cars lined up to fill their vehicles and extra containers.

Some Florida residents who are heading back said they have been stopping every chance they could because they're worried they won't have the chance once they get stuck in traffic heading back into Florida.

In Tifton, cars were lined up to the street Tuesday afternoon and people were even filling up extra gas containers. 

A warning for residents of Georgia and evacuees in Florida, traveling south will be tough, especially with concerns of gas shortages.

Residents tell us every time they stopped they filled up. 

As Florida residents head back down south to view the damage left behind by Irma, many of them are filling up their gas tanks every chance they get.  

Katherine Heckler of Florida said,  "we want to make sure that our gas tank is filled at all times."

But as traffic heads south.. so do the chances of finding gas.

Many of the gas stations along the route back to Florida are most likely not working any longer after Irma.  

Florida evacuee Allie Wyatt says that's why she's filling up now.  

"Just gone ahead and topped off even if I didn't need it because i didn't want to get stranded," said Wyatt.

Residents say they are going into this trip with high hopes, after hearing about the heavy traffic and fuel situation. 

"We're not sure when we get closer to home whether we'll be able to get gas over there," said Heckler.

Some evacuees are even bringing extra fuel containers.

Spencer Bass of St. Pete, FL tells me he had to make the stop, bringing 18 gallons of gas with him. 

"I'm certainly concerned about it or I wouldn't be stopping," said Bass.

"I've been through 5 hurricanes before so I always try to prep for it and I figured everything you see about gas so I went out and I actually have 3 more at home," said Bass.

Bass said that he has never evacuated from Florida for a hurricane before, but didn't want to chance this one. 

In a press conference Tuesday,  officials say the state has placed 20 service patrol operators along I-75 from South Atlanta metro to Florida.

That's to help if you run out of fuel.

But they will only be able to give you enough fuel to get you to the next gas station. 

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal also encourages Georgia residents to limit travel on I-75 if they can because it is expected to have high traffic volume.

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