Thomasville, Georgia- August 28, 2012
U.S. regulators say as of Tuesday afternoon, Isaac had already shut down 93% of Gulf oil production.
"We all have to live off the same pipeline and if nothing goes in it in Louisiana, where the refineries are, than nothing's going to be there to come out on our end," said Monty Lewis, President of Plantation Petroleum, Inc. in Thomasville.
Bainbridge, Georgia is our area's main distributor of petroleum products and local wholesalers say they're already feeling the hit.
"We've had a difficult time getting enough product because the terminals are trying to allocate it so we all can have enough to last through this disruption," said Lewis.
The production shutoff is also causing a spike in gas prices. In Georgia, the average price for a regular gallon of gas is up 7 cents since last week. In Florida, it's up 8 cents and is expected to rise again.
"The last thing you need is the price of gas going up when you're trying to prepare for a storm coming through as well," said Thomasville resident, Carla Manning.
Ralph Burquist from Monticello, Florida added, "Comes as no surprise whatsoever. If they could keep gas prices up to $4.00 a gallon, they will."
Lewis says the best thing for drivers to do is remain calm.
"We're encouraging people to not run down to the station and try to fill up every car you have," he said. "Just get what you need and perhaps there will be enough to go around for everybody."
Lewis also said even if the oil refineries are not damaged by the storm, they could still remain off-line for multiple days.
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