Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets and stores throughout the area were reporting “spot outages” of unleaded fuel Tuesday as shuttered refineries on the Texas coast have created high demand throughout South and Central Texas.
The Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at 3801 E. Stan Schlueter Loop shut down gas pumps, including unleaded and other types of fuel Tuesday.
According to Ragan Dickens, Wal-Mart director of national media relations, Wal-Marts throughout Central Texas will continue to experience temporary shortages until fuel transportation reaches full capacity following the ebb of Hurricane Harvey, which has ravaged coastal communities.
“As you can imagine, it’s a massive supply and demand issue because they had to shut those refineries for a few days,” Dickens said.
Dickens said despite the shortages, Wal-Mart would continue refueling shipments as they became available.
“It’s a multiday, ongoing process,” Dickens said. “What I can say is we’ve got trucks in those directions.”
Large convoys of fuel trucks were spotted throughout the area Tuesday afternoon prior to staging at Fort Hood for Federal Emergency Management Agency operations, according to post spokesman Tyler Broadway.
Broadway said the fuel would be used for any FEMA-designated operations including military vehicle refuels and shipments to the Texas coast.
Fort Hood was designated as a FEMA Incident Support Base on Monday.
About 30 trucks with the TMI corporate logo were staging in the Wal-Mart parking lot in the 1400 block of Lowe’s Boulevard in Killeen and another 15 with Macro Oil Company logos were seen in the Comfort Inn parking lot in the 1800 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Copperas Cove.
Despite the shortage, the majority of the Killeen area was in the range of $2.01 to $2.26 per gallon of unleaded fuel, according to GasBuddy.com Tuesday.
The lowest price in Killeen Tuesday was $1.99 per gallon at the Wal-Mart at 2900 Clear Creek Road.
The state average as reported on GasBuddy.com was $2.21 per gallon of unleaded fuel.
On Monday, area H-E-B gas pumps were also reporting temporary outages linked to high demand throughout the region.
“We are diligently monitoring and working to keep our fuel stations supplied during this time of spiking demand,” said Leslie Sweet, H-E-B director of public affairs in Austin.
“We have a plan in place to continue to deliver fuel to all of our stations. If we do run out of unleaded temporarily, we will offer higher grades of gas at the lower unleaded price.”