Hurricane preparation is nothing new to Floridians, but the uncertain path of Hurricane Irma has put more stress on the state's gasoline stations than during previous storms.
While panic buying precedes just about every storm that makes landfall in Florida, the uncertain path of Hurricane Irma, a rare Category 5 storm, and its severity are the key variables this time around.
Typically, forecasters can pinpoint the region where the storm will hit, allowing fuel distributors to focus their attention on that one area, explained James Miller, director of communications for the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association.
But with Irma potentially bound for many different parts of the state, drivers lined up at stations across Florida. That created a statewide run on gasoline and other supplies, making it hard to keep stations supplied, even though Florida has enough gasoline sitting in storage, Miller said.