Floridians panic — for no reason —and cause fuel shortages: ‘This is crazy’
'Pumping gas in the car' [Shutterstock]

On Thursday, WFLX reported that gasoline panic-buyers in Florida have stripped fuel from over a third of gas stations in the Miami metro area.

This is in spite of the fact, according to oil analyst Patrick De Haan, the Miami area is not even serviced by the Colonial Pipeline in the first place.

"Drivers are still dashing to gas stations to fill up their tanks, leading to shortages across the state," said the report. "According to crowdsourced data from Gas Buddy, 30 percent of gas stations in Florida are without gas, 38 percent of stations in the West Palm Beach area, and 39 percent of gas stations in the Fort Lauderdale/Miami area. At the Mobil gas station in Ocean Breeze, employee Hedy Bastedo has had a front-row seat to watch drivers make panic purchases."

"I was going to head to Fort Pierce, but I don't think I'll make it," said Gail Wood, a driver who checked three stations for premium fuel and came up empty. "This is crazy."

The Colonial Pipeline shut down after being struck with a ransomware attack — and is now getting back on line after having paid the hackers roughly $5 million. The pipeline serves a number of states along a route stretching from the Southern United States up to New Jersey. However, the majority of gas shortages were not caused by the pipeline shutdown, but by panicked drivers buying more gas than they need in anticipation of their pumps shutting down.

The hoarding behavior has led to dangerous incidents around the country. In another part of Florida, Citrus County, one driver improperly stored 20 gallons of gasoline in his Hummer, causing a catastrophic fire.