Long gas lines reported across Miami-Dade

Gas station were overflowing with customers trying to buy gas before Hurricane Matthew arrives.

Gas station were overflowing with customers trying to buy gas before Hurricane Matthew arrives.

As Hurricane Dorian makes its aggressive march toward Florida’s east coast, people are preparing — fueled by adrenaline and trepidation.

Most remember Irma and Michael.

This means rushes on bottled water and gasoline, which has led to long lines at some stations already — particularly at members-only, lower cost outlets like Costco and BJ’s.

You can use tap water and fill bottles you have in hand already. But when a storm hits, power outages and damage could make finding gas difficult for days or even weeks.

Filling your tank ahead of a storm is a prudent task. So, yes, it’s time to start preparing if you haven’t yet. But finding gas now doesn’t have to be a major headache.

WPTV meteorologist James Sinko has already shared an image on Twitter of long lines developing in Palm Beach Gardens and North Palm Beach. One Marathon station on the corner of PGA and U.S. 1, he posted, was down to two working pumps at 9 a.m. Thursday.

A Shell station in Delray Beach was also reportedly out of gas Thursday morning.

And WSVN reporter Brandon Beyer reported on long gas lines at a Davie Costco.

Gas finding tips

Check your gas-finding apps.

GasBuddy developers activated its app and web-enabled Fuel Tracker at noon Thursday. It will tell drivers where gas available and how much it is. People can also report gas outages.

“Motorists will be able to begin reporting stations’ fuel status, helping each other ahead of the likely arrival of Dorian,” Gas Buddy head of petroleum analysis Patrick DeHaan said in an email to the Miami Herald.

Gasbuddy.com also is a free app for iPhone and Android users. Even without a storm, the app is available to help find stations with the best price.

DorianApp (2).jpg

GasBuddy’s app and web-enabled Fuel Tracker can help drivers find gas.


General gas tips

Is it really important for you to save a few cents on gas-per-gallon that you’d prefer to spend an hour or more in line at a Costco or BJ’s station burning more fuel in line than you’ll save in the long run?

Nothing against the Costcos of the world but consider a regular gas station which, days ahead of a storm, probably has shorter lines. Wednesday night in Kendall, for instance, it was in-and-out of several Shells and Westars, but there were reports of lines at a Costco.

If you can avoid the busiest times — 7 a.m.-9 a.m. during morning rush hour and 4 p.m.-7 p.m. during evening rush hour you could have more luck.

Top off your tank if you are 3/4 full or less ahead of the storm for a measure of peace of mind. Especially if you are running on empty.

Patience, people. It’s a virtue. We got through Hurricane Andrew 27 years ago. We got through Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Michael more recently, too, even though recovery work still needs to be done. We will get through Dorian. Treat your buddy in line next to you with kindness.

Conserve fuel. If possible, drive less. Use your car for essentials but if you can avoid quick trips close enough to walk to or bike, consider doing that instead of driving.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.

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