Oregon Gas Stations See Traffic Increase as Eclipse Nears
BEND, Ore. — Central Oregon gas stations are already seeing long lines and some shortages in advance of the solar eclipse that will pass over the region on Aug. 21. Many drivers are preparing for the event by filling up their gas tanks, and suppliers are working to try and keep gas stations adequately supplied.
Portland-based Space Age Fuels hopes to be able to supply central Oregon throughout the weekend, reported KTVZ.
"Our plan is to take it day by day. We are going to be checking our inventory level at the stations we have," Chris Huiard, retail manager for Space Age Fuels, told the news outlet."We have one in Bend and one in Sisters, so we'll be checking that inventory every morning and trying to figure out how much fuel we need to get down there."
Some gas stations in Bend and Prineville have already run out of fuel, although some expected fuel deliveries to put them back in business. A Fred Meyer location in Bend received four fuel deliveries on Wednesday, Aug. 16 and had constant lines in which drivers waited 10 to 30 minutes.
Gas suppliers stated they will check traffic reports before sending out drivers to ensure that conditions are safe for a delivery.
The Oregon Office of Emergency Management and other state agencies have issued warnings about potential gas shortages, particularly in rural areas in the eclipse's path of totality, reported KGW.
The eclipse is expected to be the "biggest traffic event in Oregon history," according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.
On Aug. 16, a 30-mile backup occurred on Highway 26 in the Prineville area. Additionally, the Big Summit Prairie, an eclipse festival in the middle of the Ochoco National Forest, began Aug. 17, and is expected to bring in 30,000 attendees.