REDMOND, OR -- Central Oregonians already face long lines at grocery stores and gas stations, and in some cases they’re finding fuel pumps have run dry.
Peter Murphy, with the Oregon Department of Transportation, says the pinch on fuel supplies is because locals are heeding eclipse warnings. "People are doing the right thing. You know, they’re getting out and getting ready in advance and that’ll leave the opportunity for our visitors to come and fill up. So, if we all do that then there should be plenty of gas to go around when they have to get out of town." And, that’s when he expects real trouble at gas stations and on roadways. "Everybody – well half of everybody – is planning on leaving on Monday and the other half on Tuesday; so that’s when the demand is going to be. And, if we folks here can avoid going to the gas station on those two days, in particular, than we should be fine," says Murphy.
Desi Gibb of Redmond had to wait to fill up at the Redmond Fred Meyer Wednesday afternoon (right), but she was happy to see lines moving. "I expected them to be a lot longer; I really did. I don’t think they’re that bad yet, but - tomorrow?" She tells KBND News, "The only reason I’m here is because I have a fear that after this is over, we might have a shortage of gas. And, I have a half a tank, but that’s not enough if we run out of gas."
KBND News spoke to several stations that ran out of fuel Tuesday and Wednesday. They're replenishing supplies as quickly as they can to keep pumps open, in some cases getting multiple fuel deliveries a day. Distributors have truck drivers working overtime bringing fuel from Portland. And Murphy says supply trucks will continue to come in to Central Oregon with groceries and gas as long as highways stay clear of crashes. "We’re doing what we can to make sure things continue; the gasoline industry is aware of the need; the Sheriff’s Department is of course aware of this conversation, as well. These conversations have been going on for some time; this is not coming as a surprise to some people."
Long lines were seen at gas stations in nearly every Deschutes County community, from Bend (above) to Terrebonne.
Eclipse Coverage on KBND is supported in part by Awnings Unlimited. Shade yourself from the sun with Awnings Unlimited at 5541-389-1619 and awningsunlimited.net.