On average, gasoline prices have come down recently, but what about the supply of gas?
News 13 has gotten reports of many area gas stations with shortages over the past few days. "I think on Tuesday afternoon we went out of gas and we were back on Wednesday morning," said Fred Parker, Texaco Manager. Last week's heavy rain is to blame. "Last weeks severe rainfall caused a couple of spots of severe erosion on the banks of the west bay canal on the intracoastal waterway,” said Waylon Register, Site Manager for US Army Corps of Engineers in Panama City. “That has blocked commercial barge traffic through the area.”
Commercial barges aren't able to get through, leaving a local gas distributor looking elsewhere to supply customers. "We put some contingency plans in place to divert the customers to get fuel from other sources,” said Kevin Charles, Manager at the Chevron Terminal in Panama City. He adds delivery trucks have to drive further out of town to get fuel, like to Niceville, therefore the supply chain takes a little longer. The Texaco on West 11th street lost gas Tuesday night, but had more by the next morning, but it wasn’t their full amount. They said the delivery truck was only able to deliver a partial order.
"A couple of people were getting pissed off but they knew it was all around the city, so it was not bad," said Parker.
Chevron terminal employees are working hard to meet the rate of demand, while awaiting the US Army Corp of Engineers to finish the dredging process.
“There is plenty of supply its just logistically getting to the stations that is going to take a little bit of work around,” said Charles. “Hopefully they are going to get the channel open as quickly as possible so we can get back in marine business." The US Army Corp expects everything repaired by the middle of next week. The temporary fix is costing them about $700,000. This summer they hope to start work on a 3 to 5 million dollar project that will be a more long term solution.