Hurricane Ian has made landfall in Georgetown, SC as a Category 1 hurricane, bringing strong winds near 85 mph. Over the next 24 hours, the storm will progress through the Carolinas and Virginia as a Tropical Depression, leaving damage and power outages in its wake. Storm surge in South Carolina could reach up to 7 feet in some areas, and flash flooding is possible across South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Power outages have already begun in the Carolinas, with over 300,000 electric customers without power. The Department of Energy reported this morning that evacuations have spurred increased demand, causing spot fuel supply outages.
Coastal fuel markets including Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC closed today, preventing fuel trucks from loading and making deliveries. Strong winds extending well into the country will delay deliveries as Ian makes its way inland.
While the focus has shifted to the Southeast, Florida’s recovery is underway. Florida still has over 1.8 million without power throughout the state, with 44,000 utility workers from around the US storming the area to restore power. Ports are assessing damage and preparing to reopen.
Tampa’s fuel terminals have opened, though lines at the rack have been reported at 5-6 hours. Long lines make every delivery take longer, reducing total carrier capacity in the region and keeping fuel tight. Orlando and Jacksonville continue facing supply challenges as well. Roughly 220 million gallons of fuel are reportedly waiting offshore near Tampa, ready to re-fuel the area once the port reopens, according to S&P Global Platts.
Mansfield is moving the coastal areas of Georgia and the Carolinas to Code Blue due to supply outages, and central Florida remains on Code Blue as well. Outside of coastal southeast markets, other areas remain at the same alert status as before. Mansfield expects to see some improvements in parts of Florida over the weekend, but recovery efforts will extend into next week in many areas.