With multiple oil refineries shutting down due to Hurricane Harvey's impacts on the Gulf Coast, customers in the Austin-area and throughout Texas are reporting a shortage of gasoline.
Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton said there is no shortage of fuel in Texas because of Harvey, but many stations are running out due to a high level of demand. He also acknowledged that prices are expected to climb in the coming days.
"As a region - there will be gasoline. There may be pockets that take a few days to get refueled but I don't believe a week from now this will be an issue," Sitton said. "There's just so much gasoline in inventory, pipelines are coming back online, logistical problems are working out, so that is not going to be a long-term issue."
KVUE viewers have reported multiple gas stations with shortages.
Commenters on the KVUE Facebook page are sharing locations that they say do not have fuel. Redditors started a thread sharing which locations were running empty.
KVUE reached out to several gas stations in Austin and the surrounding areas. Here is what we found as of Thursday afternoon:
Mobile app users click here to see the list
*Note: This information is from Thursday afternoon*
The City of Austin released the following statement:
"The City of Austin is aware of social media reports of fuel shortages in the Austin region. The City’s fuel division is currently operating normally and their ability to provide emergency and routine services has not been impacted. However we are monitoring the situation and are prepared to enact conservation methods should they be required."
None of Texas' refineries suffered major damage. Valero has already begun ramping up at its refineries and another major refinery in Texas is expected to be back on line Sunday.
However, gas prices are climbing, which is typical when hurricanes knock off refineries. Statewide, the average gas price is $2.26 per gallon, which is four cents higher than Wednesday and 12 cents more than Thursday last week. Drivers in Dallas are paying the most for gas at $2.23 per gallon.
Paul Hardin with the Texas Fuel & Food Association said if consumers see price gouging, they should report it to the Attorney General’s office immediately.
“The fines can range up to about $250,000,” said Hardin.