Frustrations Run High Over People Cutting Long Lines at Louisiana Gas Stations
As Louisiana picks up the pieces after the devastation from Hurricane Ida, some residents are entering survival mode.
Hundreds of thousands of people were affected by Hurricane Ida—either by flooding, wind damage, infrastructure failure, or all of the above. One issue that all Louisianians have had to deal with is gas shortages.
We saw it before Ida made landfall as people were making preparations, and now that Hurricane Ida has left over 1 million people without power, fuel is needed for everything from evacuations to generators.
Basically, if you're staying or leaving, you need gas.
I personally know people who can't leave an area of devastation with no power, because they aren't sure if they can make it to their final destination without running out of fuel. I know other people who are preparing for the long haul without power but aren't sure if they have enough fuel to keep their generators going.
Because of this, long lines have formed at numerous gas stations all across south Louisiana.
Some people have been known to wait for 2-3 hours to get fuel. While most people wait patiently for their turn at getting gas, others have opted to cut the line.
This has caused tensions to boil over at some filling stations, including one off of Highway 73 on Tuesday.
In this video from WBRZ, drivers who waited for hours were upset when others cut the line because they felt their needs were more important than those who had been waiting for their turn.
Things reached a fever pitch when drivers exited their vehicles to confront those who cut the line. A woman who cut the line seemed to justify her actions by saying that the line should operate differently—utilizing two lines instead of one. She told WBRZ that she had been waiting for 20 minutes, but decided to cut because she had an oxygen machine.
I've been waiting 20 minutes. It should be this way. They should make two lines, not just one line.
The only problem is, she cut others who had been waiting for far longer; like one woman who said she had been waiting for two hours and 20 minutes for fuel.
My dad is bedridden. He has no running water. No fuel, no water, no ice, nothing... bedridden. And my brother is flooding in Maurepas. She can walk. My dad can't. That has nothing to do with being kind and respectful. I went over there and said to them, this is the line. They said, 'sorry this is a shortcut, and this is the line I'm going to be in' and stood their ground.
Another man said he waited for over three hours to get fuel to power his generators. His home is connected to a well, and running water is fully dependent on power from the generator with power outages in his area that could last for weeks at a minimum.
Without power, we can't flush toilets.
CBS Mornings National Lead Correspondent David Begnaud showed lines that wrapped around blocks for hours before a food distribution even opened up in the New Orleans area. He also told a story about a man who was stuck in his home after riding out Hurricane Ida and didn't know what to do.
Thankfully, his son in New Jersey reached out to local authorities to check on the man who has now been relocated to a local hospital.
This is just a snapshot of what people are going through right now, and tensions will only continue to rise until people have adequate access to resources needed to simply get by.
Just a reminder that a little patience can go a long way and that everyone is going through it right now in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
As electricity slowly begins to be restored in some of the affected areas we are hoping this will alleviate some of the stress that people are feeling right now.