A man was filmed filling up a significant amount of gas in Odessa, Texas, amid fears—and rumors—of a fuel shortage triggered by flooding in southern Texas.
Drivers lined up at gas pumps in Texas on Thursday, Aug. 31, as stations ran out of gas, The Associated Press reported.
“People are insane right now,” Tim Flatt, the manager of Shell Station at Interstate 635 in Dallas, told AP.
“A lot of people don’t need gas, but they’re coming to get gas. It’s just been crazy.”
Lines are expected to keep going on Friday as drivers gas up before hitting the roads for the traditionally travel-heavy Labor Day weekend.
Prices will also likely rise even more.
Officials have said that there are sufficient reserves of gasoline, and drivers don’t need to panic.
“We have enough gasoline, that’s not the issue,” Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton said. “There is a challenge of logistics, getting that gasoline from where it is stored to the gas stations, and that is a real challenge and the people are working through that. But that challenge has been surpassed by a run on gas stations.”
State officials said that if anyone sees gas stations trying to price gouge customers for gasoline, they should take pictures and report it to the relevant authorities.
As a result of Hurricane Harvey, at least 3.6 million barrels per day of refining capacity is offline, nearly 20 percent of the U.S. capacity. More refineries are at risk of shutdowns as the storm relentlessly dumps rain on Texas and heads toward Louisiana.
The longer refineries remain shut, the more retail prices will increase, traders and analysts said. Two of the major pipelines delivering gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from the Gulf Coast are operating at reduced rates or plan to shut down entirely, with wholesale markets in Chicago and the Gulf region seeing sharp rises in prices.
“Basically this will affect everyone across the country on some level and your proximity to the supply chain will affect how severe the impact is to you,” said Jeff Lenard, vice president of the National Association of Convenience Stores, which represents 80 percent of all gasoline volume sold in the country.
Reuters contributed to this report