Harvey leads to gas shortages in Frisco


Neha Perumalla

Virtually all gas stations in the area looked somewhat similar on Thursday, August 31, 2017 as most were sold out of gas as residents rushed to fill up throughout the day.

The effects of Hurricane Harvey hit the Frisco area Thursday with most gas stations in the city running out of fuel as the storm left many oil refineries in Houston closed, leading to a rush to fill up.

As a precaution, not only were several oil fields and platforms evacuated Thursday, at least four refineries began the process of closing down operations and production out of concern that the attendant loss of electricity in Harvey’s path would damage the refining process and leave the plants without the ability to pump out water away from critical infrastructure,” analyst Dan McTeague said on GasBuddy.com.

Brian Higgins
Frisco’s only Costco was a busy stop for gas on Thursday as drivers waited more than 20 minutes to fill up with the cheapest gas in town at $2.15.

As word of refineries closing spread, thousands of Frisco residents rushed to gas stations to fill up before stations went.

“I went to top off my tank, and I was surprised by the lines at 6:45 in the morning,” parent Melanie Glover said. “All day long it’s been hard to make your way anywhere around the gas stations.”

For students, the sudden price hikes have come as a shock to the wallet.

“It sucks, because I have to pay for my own gas,” senior Sam Timmons. “I waited in line for about thirty minutes, and when I got there they only had premium gas, but my car runs on premium. It was about $2.90 per gallon and my car takes 18 gallons, so it was about $52.”

Thursday’s rush to get gas only depletes resources further says one teacher.

“Gas shortages are a self fulfilling prophecy,” economics teacher Fred Kaiser said. “As soon as gas stations say there’s going to be a shortage, they cause more of a shortage because everyone is lining up to get gas now.”

Everyone going to get gas all at once has created lines that extend far outside the parking lots of gas stations, stretching out onto the streets.

“Business is slow now because we don’t have any gas,” 7-Eleven gas station clerk Ibrahim Mohammed  said. There was [long lines] this morning. We were out of regular, but had premium and midgrade. [Customers] know this is not our fault. They take it if it’s there, but if not, they go somewhere else.”

Neha Perumalla
Gas prices have been on the climb since Hurricane Harvey first hit with most prices ranging in the $2 range.

According to Dallas Morning News, these shortages are likely to affect more states beyond Texas, since the Colonial Pipeline, which closed on Wednesday, extends as far as New York City.

“We currently estimate that we will be able to return to service from Houston Sunday, following an evaluation of our infrastructure and successful execution of our start up plan,” Colonial said to Alabama News.

While the closure of the pipeline may be short lived, the shortage and price increase will be felt beyond that.

“The long road to recovery from Hurricane Harvey will be challenging for Texas and those impacted by this devastating storm,” McTeague said. “Although no storms seem to be following Harvey next week, it is likely that conditions will continue to spawn future threats in the first weeks of September.”