WABASH VALLEY - (WTHI) -- There have been reports all over the country of problems getting gas. This is partially due to the rising demand and falling supply in some areas. Matters were made worse after the cyberattack on the colonial pipeline, one of the nation's largest pipeline systems serving the East Coast. However, locally this shortage may have nothing to do with fuel supply.
Some people in the area are having trouble finding readily available gasoline. In Terre Haute, a few local stations are complaining about ongoing shortages. Surprisingly, the main issue does not have to do with the fuel itself.
"Part of the problem is not that there is a shortage of gasoline," Patrick De Haan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy, said. "There is plenty of it. It's getting it to the stations as quickly as they need to refuel their tanks. The problem is Americans are filling up so quickly that it's hard for stations to have enough truckers to fuel up from a local rack to the station level."
The bigger issue here is there is an ongoing shortage of truck drivers nationwide, which is becoming more problematic now.
"Prior to COVID, and prior to 2020, there was a truck driver shortage looming and it was made worse by COVID," he said.
Especially as the pandemic is beginning to slow down and restrictions ease, demand for gasoline is quickly rising. This often does not allow enough time for the limited amount of drivers to keep up with the demand.
"There is plenty of gasoline, refineries are churning it out, but it is making that last mile transit from the rack to the terminal," De Haan said. "You may encounter a station that is temporarily out. This is not a shortage. It's more like a temporary kink in the hose. If you don't absolutely need it, just wait a day or two."
Experts say the issues with gas stations temporarily running out should not be widespread. They are encouraging you to be patient if you do experience a station with a shortage.