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‘Potentially widespread fuel contamination’ at Florida gas stations as residents prepare for Hurricane Idalia
Photo Illustration by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

‘Potentially widespread fuel contamination’ at Florida gas stations as residents prepare for Hurricane Idalia

Over the weekend, Florida officials reported that some gas stations have been impacted by “potentially widespread fuel contamination” as residents prepare for looming Hurricane Idalia.

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, gas stations in the Port of Tampa may be selling contaminated fuel.

“FDACS has identified a potentially widespread fuel contamination caused by human error at the Port of Tampa,” the agency stated. “Fuel purchased after 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 26, at stations supplied by Citgo from the Port of Tampa has a strong likelihood of being contaminated.”

Citgo provided a list of nearly 30 gas stations impacted by the error. The FDACS reported that Citgo may update the list. The agency tested three of the gas stations, and two tested positive for contamination.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed during a Sunday news conference that the contamination was caused by “human error.” “They put diesel in tanks that were supposed to be regular gas,” DeSantis explained.

The FDACS added that contaminated “vehicles and generators may not properly function.”

“At the direction of the Governor, FDEM has already waived size, weight, and hour restrictions to get resources into the state as quickly and efficiently as possible,” the agency said.

The New York Post reported that the error was discovered through a Department of Transportation weight check since diesel fuel weighs more than gasoline, according to Florida Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson. The commissioner also noted that the gas stations were notified about the potential contamination within an hour.

“We’re working with the team to get those fuels evacuated and replaced with clean fuel. By the end of the day, we hope to have all of those gas stations identified, which fuel, which ones can open up and where we’re going to work on that,” Simpson stated.

Citgo said it is “working with the locations to remove contaminated product from these locations.”

The governor urged residents to begin executing their plans for the approaching storm, noting that it would likely arrive early Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Idalia was anticipated to develop into a hurricane before it reached Florida’s Gulf Coast. The Orlando Sentinel reported that Hurricane Idalia formed Tuesday morning and is expected to be a Category 3 by the time it reaches the coast on Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“This is going to be a major hurricane,” DeSantis said Monday. “It’s likely to continue strengthening all the way until impact and it could have catastrophic storm surge in your area.”

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →