AUSTIN (KXAN) — One year ago Friday, Hurricane Harvey had already ripped through Texas, leaving destruction in its wake and leaving people across the state to deal with another issue: a customer-created gas shortage.
By Aug. 31, 2017, people had begun lining up down the streets to get gasoline. While more than a dozen refineries were taken down or running at a reduced capacity in the wake of the storm, Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton said much of the issue was people using up the gasoline at stations at a faster rate than they could replenish it.
“People are taking their gas cans, their Suburbans down to the gas station,” Sitton said at the time. “Even if we had all of the refineries running, we’d still be having this issue.”
Transportation issues caused by the storm also made it difficult for supplies to be replenished.
AAA reported at the time average statewide gas prices were about $2.26 per gallon of regular unleaded, which was a 12 cent increase from the week before. Investigations also found some stations across the state took advantage of the hurricane and engaged in price gouging. Some accused stations agreed to refund customers.