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Transportation

Why Florida Ran Out of Gas

Fuel shortages linked to the two recent hurricanes hindered evacuation and now recovery, highlighting our dependency on a fragile resource.
No gas today: A South Florida gas station in the aftermath of high winds brought on by Hurricane Irma.
No gas today: A South Florida gas station in the aftermath of high winds brought on by Hurricane Irma.Wilfredo Lee/AP

In Gainesville, some 45 percent of gas stations are running dry as of Wednesday. In West Palm Beach, it’s 50 percent. And the price of gas has jumped nearly 30 cents on average—and that’s without the widespread price gouging that plagued Florida this past weekend.

These are the tough realities Floridians who evacuated in the face of Hurricane Irma last week even as they begin to return home. An unprecedented six million fled from the Category 5 storm, the largest evacuation in U.S. history.