Ongoing coverage on Hurricane Ian’s approach to Florida continues as some local ports have entered “Condition Zulu.” Both Port Tampa Bay and SeaPort Manatee have stopped water- and land-based activities due to a U.S. Coast Guard directive.
Batten down the hatches
Florida is in evacuation mode as parts of the Sunshine State are facing 10-foot storm surges. As forecast models tighten up on the hurricane’s projected track, the focus is shifting to landfall occurring between Port Tampa and Fort Myers. Some areas are under a voluntary evacuation order, which you can read at the link.
This is a good thing because the geography of Tampa Bay means that flood waters will not drain quickly. The area is near sea level and mostly flat for a large area, which will cause flood waters to have difficulty draining back into the bay.
The run on gas stations has begun
Personally, I awoke to some shocking news that some local gas stations in South Georgia have been drained dry by local residents and those crossing the state line looking for fuel.
My hometown of Nashville, Georgia was wiped out in the pre-dawn hours. A small line had formed at one station as the morning tanker delivery from the fuel terminal in nearby Albany, Georgia had arrived.
Whenever a storm aims for an area, the small supply of excess fuel that gas stations hold is quickly purchased. Most gas stations do not keep their tanks full, but hold just enough to cover potential sales until the next tanker arrives.
Truck drivers need to be careful of getting too close to the storm area and running low or out of fuel. The area of consumption of supplies as residents prepare to leave or ride out the storm grows exponentially the closer the storm is to landfall.
Drivers need to check specific websites and apps such as GasBuddy and others to monitor fuel supply – and outages. Federal and state emergency services websites should also be checked regularly for updates on road closures and restrictions.
BackTheTruckUp.com and FreightWaves.com are posting updates to the Hurricane Ian situation as they develop.