ORLANDO, Fla. – Central Florida is seeing fallout from a cyber-attack that forced the nation’s largest gas pipeline to shut down.
Although Florida doesn’t get fuel from the Colonial Pipeline, there has been a big demand at the pump.
News 6 wanted to know if the Colonial shutdown is causing gas shortages in Florida, so that question was put through the Trust Index.
The pipeline is no longer shut down.
News 6 went to several gas stations across Central Florida.
From Sky 6 we saw a long line of cars outside a 7-Eleven in Avalon Park Wednesday morning. Later in the afternoon signs were posted on the door that said they were out of gas.
There were also several gas stations in Orange County where people pulled up and had no issues filling up their tanks.
AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said the Colonial Pipeline outage is fueling fears of gas shortages.
“I think that’s kind of what’s happening is a lot of people are seeing the reports of this situation and seeing long lines at gas stations and assuming this is a problem here in my town and that’s not necessarily the case,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said Floridians don’t have to worry about the shutdown. He said the state doesn’t use this line to get gas.
Jenkins said 90% of fuel comes in on cargo ships through Florida’s ports, so the shutdown isn’t affecting our supply.
“The Colonial Pipeline services a lot of states north of Florida, so there’s a lot of work to being done to deal with supply issues that are resulting from that, but here in Florida our supply lines have largely avoided any kind of major issues due to that,” Jenkins said.
He adds we are not seeing any supply issues or shortages.
“There’s plenty of access to gasoline. It’s just now there’s outages due to people who are rushing to their pumps to fill up their tanks, possibly even filling up an extra can or two and that just drains supplies really for no reason,” Jenkins said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling on Floridians to not rush to the pumps.
“I think there is an issue of you do see shortages, but that’s also compounded with panic buying and I think what I would say is if you need gas, get it, but you don’t need to be hoarding it right now. That’s going to make it worse,” DeSantis said.
Jenkins said he is urging Florida drivers to fuel up responsibly.
“We’re just encouraging people to follow normal fueling habits. If you don’t go to the gas station every single day, don’t start now and if you don’t normally fill up an extra gas can, don’t start now because all that does is create a drain on the system,” Jenkins said.
Based on our discussions with AAA, the question of whether Florida is facing a gas shortage due to the Colonial Pipeline shut down gets a “Not True” on the News 6 Trust Index.