FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — An expert is warning that panic buying could fuel a hike in gas prices as Myrtle Beach area stations go dry.
Patrick De Haan with Gas Buddy told News13 drivers are buying gas when they don’t really need it, which will only increase prices and cause outages that wouldn’t happen otherwise.
“People running out to fill their tanks are going to make those outages much worse and longer in duration,” De Haan said. “In fact, we are already seeing stations across the Southeast — thousands of stations — now running low. I think this should be all about conservation.”
News13’s Lacey Lee was at the BP gas station on Pamplico Highway at noon, and two hours later, they were out of fuel. De Haan said drivers have it in their hands to make this situation better but instead are making it worse.
Lines of drivers trying to get gas started forming Monday night. Driver Kady Morris said she needed gas after running a few errands. After 15 minutes of waiting in line, she realized the pump she was waiting at was out of gas.
“Trying to find gas in Dillon is ridiculous,” Morris said. “Trying to find gas in Latta — well everybody is out. Trying to hit up hot spots in Marion — nothing.”
De Haan said even though the Colonial Pipeline shutdown is causing a craze at the pump, “refineries are still producing gasoline upstream. We’re just waiting on the pipeline to start shipping fuel again.”
Morris said she’s seen drivers filling containers with gas and adds that is making things worse for drivers who really need it.
“Don’t hog the gas,” she said. “Just get enough gas to fill your car up. You don’t need containers and jugs. It’s not the end of the world.”
That’s a sentiment De Haan agrees with.
“If everyone runs out and hoards gasoline this problem is going to last until Memorial Day that we have stations out of fuel,” De Haan said. “There’s no need to fill up all these gas cans. Keep in mind gasoline has a shelf life. You can’t just store it infinitely, it evaporates, so keep that in mind.”
De Haan said drivers can report which stations are out of gas using the GasBuddy app. He said GasBuddy is working with federal and state agencies to try and alleviate the issues in those areas.