Storm causes panic-buying, gas shortage

(Photo: Brianne CarterWJLA)

A storm-related gas shortage across the Washington region has left many stations without fuel or with the single option of taking cash only.

Randy Sparks of Mississippi set up shop along Rockville Pike selling generators out of the back of his truck.

" You can power a small window unit...," Sparks said.

The 20 year storm-chasing veteran figured with the power possibly out in the D.C. area all week, the 1,000 mile trip might still be worth it.

Sparks added, "Usually we get a jump on the storm...but this one took us by surprise"

And Sparks may just be onto something. Bethesda resident Tommy Sumartono said his wife told him to find some way to cool their house.

"Three days...our house is hot...we have to go out in the day and then come back," Sumartono explained.

But, the very thing needed to run a generator is proving very hard to find for some. In some areas, cars have lined up to wait to fill up their cars and generators.

For every operating gas station, there seems to be several that are out of service. ABC7’s Brianne Carter was able to find a functioning station in Arlington Monday morning, but they are few and far between.

Melissa Olenick, a resident of Arlington, added, "Everywhere I go...some places were out of regular..."

Millions remain without electricity after a strong line of storm quickly moved across the region, leaving heavy damage in its wake. Utility officials say it could be several days before power – and air-conditioning – can be completely restored.

That means many stations won’t be able to keep up with demand and others have already run out of gas. And for some of the stations that do have gas, power outages and phone issues have left them unable to accept anything but cash.

For more information on gas stations that are open, check here.