Flood closes fuel terminal, raising gas prices & causing outages of some blends

News

September 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Missouri River is falling back into its banks after months of flooding, yet the high water is still causing problems. Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says the flooded waterway has caused the temporary shutdown of an Omaha fuel distribution terminal that provides gasoline to many retailers in the region. White says some gas stations have run out of certain blends and gas prices have jumped up a dime-a-gallon.

“This is expected to be short-term and we’re hoping that the problem will be resolved within the next week,” White says. “In the meantime, they seem to be getting product from other suppliers so it is getting into the metro area as needed.” However, White says those oil tankers are being forced to drive to Des Moines and other locations to get fuel. White says there is no shortage of gas, so hording is not necessary.

“The one thing we do not want to do is create any type of panic situation,” White says. “There is plenty of a supply available so we do encourage all motorists to just buy your supply as needed as you normally do.” Since the gasoline is being transported from more distant locations, White says gas stations in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area may not have some fuel blends available. She says, “Some stations may experience temporary outages of certain blends of fuel due to delivery delays but the problem is not expected to be long-term or widespread.”

Once the terminal in Omaha is running again, White says gas prices should start to drop.
“When the supplies resume back to normal and with the summer travel season coming to an end, the combination of the two will hopefully help to drive down prices,” she says.

The statewide average price for gasoline is now three-63, a penny higher than the national average.

(Radio Iowa)