One week after Hurricane Ida struck large portions of the southeast, cities across the state of Louisiana are dealing with major gas shortages.GasBuddy reports indicate that 66.2% of gas stations in New Orleans have run low or completely out of gas for customers. Adding on, GasBuddy reports indicate that more than 70% of Baton Rouge gas stations are out of fuel as well. These shortages are likely caused by increased demand for gas as well as issues getting gas to hard-hit areas.
To address this issue, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has loaned 1.5 million barrels of oil to Exxon Mobil's oil refineries in Louisiana.
"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) encourages refiners to prioritize refined products for the affected region, and remains committed to supporting those efforts through options such as the SPR. The SPR’s ability to conduct exchanges is a critical tool available to refiners during emergencies like Hurricane Ida," a statement from the U.S. Department of Energy reads.
In addition to oil shortages, thousands of people across Louisiana and Mississippi remain without power. Earlier this week, PowerOutage.US reported that more than 1.1 million people were without power following the hurricane. As of Friday morning, nearly 850,000 people still remain without power across the two states. However, state officials are optimistic about the future.
"I know initially we thought we were talking three to four weeks, you know, we'll see where it goes from here, but things are moving along," Louisiana State Representative Mark Wright told CNN.
On a brighter note, Entergy, a major electricity provider in Louisiana, has reported that they have been able to restore power to a number of hospitals in the area. Moving forward, Entergy CEO Phillip Mays says the company hopes to restore power to "the majority" of customers in the greater Baton Rouge area by September 8.