Stay calm, officials say, as gas shortage reports fuel long lines at the pumps

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY

Vehicles line up at the Marble Falls H-E-B fueling station on RR 1431 shortly after fuel trucks arrived after noon Aug. 31 to replenish the resource. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

Vehicles line up at the Marble Falls H-E-B fueling station on RR 1431 shortly after fuel trucks arrived after noon Aug. 31 to replenish the resource. Staff photo by Connie Swinney

MARBLE FALLS — Reports in Burnet and Llano counties of some stations temporarily closing and others running out of certain grades of fuel prompted a “run on gas” by motorists concerned about the limited availability of the resource in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. People have reported long lines at several Highland Lakes gas stations.

Public safety officials confirmed that the Highland Lakes is experiencing some of the fallout from storm, which hit South and Southeast Texas, but cautioned residents to handle any concerns about gas shortages with “calm.”

“We’re just two to three hours away from highly impacted areas that need fuel now and produce a great deal of the fuel that we consume here,” Marble Falls Police Capt. Glenn Hanson said. “Naturally, there might be a concern of a shortage, but I haven’t seen any indicators that it would be anything more than short-term.”

Marble Falls and surrounding agencies along with residents have reported temporary closures of fueling stations such as at the Marble Falls and Kingsland H-E-Bs.

In Marble Falls, the H-E-B fueling station, 1503 RR 1431, was reportedly closed from at least 8 p.m. Aug. 30 through just after noon on Aug. 31. Marble Falls H-E-B general manager Rudy Gill confirmed that the location had shut down its fuel pumps for awhile Aug. 30-31, but added they were expecting a shipment (which came in at about 1 p.m. Thursday).

Officials reported in the past that the Marble Falls H-E-B fueling station is scheduled to be closed Sept. 10 due to its relocation connected to construction of the new store on the site.

Lines at several gas stations also grew throughout the afternoon hours Aug. 31, and customers reported several locations without gas or limited availability. Other stations, however, did have fuel.

Officials ask that people remain calm if they find themselves waiting in line.

“There is no reason to panic. If you need fuel go get fuel, but there’s no reason to hoard fuel,” said Hanson, who has also been monitoring concerns in Burnet County. “If it gets to the point where fuel is really short here, and we start to see lines, our caution to everyone is to treat each other well and behave.

“We don’t want to see the road rage-type incidents at the fuel pumps,” he added. “Get what you need and let others get what they need and carry on.”

Hanson said residents should conduct business as usual when fueling up with some public safety tips in mind.

“Obey all the traffic laws, drive defensively, and be careful. Conserve as much as possible,” he said. “Don’t take unnecessary trips and make one trip count as much as possible. Don’t take any more than what you need, and there shouldn’t be any problem.”

Also, motorists can search for apps on their smart phones that offer information about area fueling stations.

Editor Daniel Clifton contributed to this report.

connie@thepicayune.com

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